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
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.
Two local officers died in France on 6th July 1917: Captain Cyril Arthur Mecrate Butcher 10th (Service) Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (attached 62nd Trench Mortar Battery) and Second Lieutenant Henry Joseph Watlington, Royal Flying Corps.
Private George Edwin Taylor died on 3rd July 1917, serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Knowle in 1880 but had left the village by the age of one, when his parents had moved to Balsall Heath.
Private Frederick Norman, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died of wounds as a prisoner of war in Germany on 12th June 1917. Soldiers Died in the Great War lists him as being born in Knowle, and indicates that he was living in Knowle. However, it seems that he was actually born in Cold Newton, Leicestershire, in 1891. His name is recorded on war memorials at Knowle, Baddesley Clinton, Balsall Common, Chadwick End and Temple Balsall.
Three local men lost their lives on 7th June 1917 during the Battle of Messines in West Flanders, Belgium: Captain Harold Jackson, Royal Flying Corps; Private William Charles Sumner, 33rd Battalion Australian Infantry; and Private Almon John Wills, 10th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Two local men lost their lives in France on 21st May 1917 – Private Charles Bishop, 11th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and Private John Gardner, of the 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Two local men died on active service on 13th May 1917. Private Albert Charles Adkins, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died in Germany whilst a Prisoner of War. Private James Edward Lees, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment died in hospital in Liverpool, aged 19, and is buried in Shirley.