Two local men lost their lives on 20th April 1918 whilst on active service in France – 20-year-old Private James Franklin, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment and 21-year-old Second Lieutenant Frederick Harold Hoyle of 2nd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own).
Two local men lost their lives on 13th April 1918 serving with the 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment – 31-year-old Private Leonard Russell and 22-year-old Sergeant Robert Alban Wright.
Two local men died on 10th April 1918. Second Lieutenant Percival Horace Batchelor, Royal Warwickshire Regiment attd. 2nd/6th Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment and Private Thomas Teerheege, 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment.
Captain Rudolf Valintine M.C., 1st Squadron, C Company, Warwickshire Yeomanry, died on 12th November of wounds received during the “Glorious Charge” at Huj, Gaza, which took place on 8th November. His local connection with the Solihull area is that he was a member of the North Warwickshire Hunt, which met at Meriden.
Two local men lost their lives on 1st November as a result of their war service. Captain William Alfred Foley, 1st Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) died of wounds after being hit by a bullet and Second Lieutenant Richard Alured Waller, 5th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers died of pneumonia.
Four local men lost their lives on active service on 26th October 1917. Three of them were serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment – Private Albert Edward Lewis (14th Battalion), Private William Richard Parry (15th Battalion) and Private Albert Charles Thompson (15th Battalion). All three have no known grave and are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Also killed was Private Sydney West, who was serving with the 58th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment), having emigrated from Solihull.
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.
Second Lieutenant Kenneth Selby Waters was killed on 30th May 1917, whilst serving with the Indian Army Reserve of Officers, attached to No. 1 Mountain Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He was born in Nuneaton on 18th June 1890, where his father, Rev. Samuel George Waters, was headmaster of King Edward VI School from 1880 until 1908. Kenneth was the eldest of the two children of Rev. Waters’ second marriage to Ellen Selby.
His sister Winifred Mary was born in 1897. They also had five half-siblings from their father’s first marriage to Laura Ann Batchelor (1849-1884) – Harold William (born 1875), George Cecil (born 1877), Eveline Laura (born 1880), Sybil Bertha (born 1881), and Aubrey Eustace (1883-1945).
Gunner Josiah Wilkinson, aged 20, died of wounds on 1st October 1916, whilst serving with “A” Bty. 77th Bde. Royal Field Artillery. He was born in Meriden and baptised at St Laurence’s Church, Meriden on 8th November 1896. He was the second of the three children (all boys) of parents William (a farm labourer) and Annie. His two brothers – William and Frank – were born in 1895 and 1899 respectively.