17th November 1917

Rifleman Frank Aldington, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade was killed in action on 17th November 1917. He was the youngest of the eight children (six sons, to daughters) of parents, John (a groom and gardener) and Anne (née Copage) who had married at Tanworth-in-Arden in 1862. The family moved to Knowle sometime between 1868 and 1871.

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2nd October 1917

27-year-old Driver Albert Neville Reeve lost his life on active service on 2nd October 1917, serving with the 3rd Division, Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery. He was the eldest of seven children and was born in Wollaston, Stourbridge in 1890. The family moved around, including Hartlebury, Wolverley, Sparkhill and Shirley, before settling in Golden End, Knowle sometime between 1906-1911.

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20th September 1917

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

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12th August 1917

Private William Batsford, 11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment died on 12th August 1917. Born in Knowle, he was living in Northfield, Birmingham when he enlisted in the Army. He was the third of the eight children (four sons, four daughters) of parents William (a carpenter and joiner) and Emma (née Turner) who had married in 1879. Two of the children, Emily (1889-1890) and John Henry (1890-1892), died as infants.

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