Three local men are recorded as having been killed on 21st September 1917, the second day of the Battle of Menin Road Ridge: Private Arthur Paget, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; Private William Skidmore, 8th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment; Lance Corporal Thomas Wells, East Surrey Regiment.
Five local men were killed in action on 20th September 1917. This was the first day of the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, which lasted until 25th September and marked a change in British infantry tactics.
Although previous attacks had penetrated the lightly-defended German front lines, exhausted troops then came under sustained counter-attack and failed to penetrate the second line. The new strategy was designed to attack a small part of the front line, first with heavy bombardment, and then by troops in strength under a creeping barrage 1000 yards deep, protecting the advancing infantry. Once through the lines and having reached their objectives, troops were then to stop and dig in. A second wave of infantry could then pass through to attack the next objective.
Local men who lost their lives in this action were:
- Private Richard Sydney Greaves, 6th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment
- Private Thomas Henry Lloyd, 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
- Sergeant Septimus Price, 6th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
- Corporal Percy John Shirley, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Sergeant Harry Taylor, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Four local men died on 22nd August 1917: Corporal Alfred John Collins, 2nd/4th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry; Private Charles Edmund Frost, 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry; Private Albert Maybury, 2/4th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry; and Private Frederick George Skidmore, 1st/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The first three have no known grave and so they are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Sapper Ernest William Bailey was killed in action on 8th July 1917 serving with 218th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Born in Bordesley in 1888, he was the second of three children of parents Christopher William and Sarah (née Kimberley) who had married at Holy Trinity, Bordesley, in 1885. His sister, Elsie, was born in 1887, whilst the youngest child, Alfred, was born in 1891, by which time the family had moved to Hampton-in-Arden.
Gunner Charles Henry Howe died on 5th June 1917 whilst serving with D Battery, 242nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Soldiers Died in the Great War indicates that he was born in Balsall, but the City of Coventry Roll of Honour gives his place of birth as Woolwich, and his date of birth as 11th December 1886.
Sergeant Frank Webb, aged 29, died on 26th April 1917, serving with 11th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Born in Barston on 28th December 1888, he was baptised at St John Baptist Church, Berkswell on 31st March 1889. He was the third of the four children of parents Thomas (an insurance agent for the Prudential Assurance Co.) and Jane (née Bray) who had married at St Mary’s Church, Warwick in 1882.
Two local men died in France on 24th April 1917. Second Lieutenant Harold James Goodwin, 135th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery was killed in action and Gunner Leslie Richards Reeve, D Company, Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Section) (later Tank Corps), died of wounds.
Two local men died on 29th March 1917 whilst serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Private Charles Henry Chamberlain, who was born in Temple Balsall, was serving with the 9th Battalion in Mesopotamia (Iraq), whilst Private William King, who was from Solihull, was serving with the 5th Battalion in France.
Sergeant Humphrey George Moseley, “D” Battery, 23rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, was wounded in action in France on 2nd March 1917. He died at No. 6 General Hospital, Rouen, nine days later as a result of a gunshot wound to the head and thigh.
He was the eldest child and only son of parents George and Mary Ann (née Richards) who had married at Coleshill on 8th April 1890. The couple also had seven daughters: Ellen (born 1892); Bertha Mary (born 1894); Edith Annie (born 1895); Elsie Louisa (born 1897); Lilian Alice (born 1899); Blanche Fanny (born 1903); and Gladys May (born 1904).