Lieutenant Harry Osborne Hackett, 16th Battalion Welsh Regiment, died of wounds on 28th August 1917, aged 22. He was promoted to full Lieutenant on the day he died, having been commissioned Second Lieutenant in December 1914 after initially enlisting in the ranks of the Army Service Corps. He was born in Birmingham on 4th September 1894 and attended Wellesbourne School, Acocks Green before joining Solihull School (Acocks Green House).
Two men with a local connection died in Flanders on 1st August 1917, the second day of the Third Battle of Ypres – former schoolteacher Second Lieutenant George Williams Hastings, 3rd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment (attached to the 10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment), and labourer, Private David Thorneycroft, 38th Field Ambulance, Army Medical Corps.
19-year-old Lieutenant Joseph Cecil Smith, 70th Squadron Royal Flying Corps, was killed in action on 28th July 1917. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial.
Private Harold Tetley was killed in action on 30th June 1917 whilst serving with the 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Born in Small Heath in 1886, Harold attended Wellesbourne School, Acocks Green before going onto Solihull School, where he is listed as a boarder in 1901. His family was living in Bentley Heath, Solihull in 1901.
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.
22-year-old Norman Oliver Dingley died of wounds at No. 8 Casualty Clearing Station, France having received a bullet wound to the abdomen during the Battle of Arras. From March 1917, he was serving as Lieutenant (Acting Captain) with the 93rd Company, Machine Gun Corps, having previously been gazetted Second Lieutenant with the 6th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment in January 1915.
21-year-old Second Lieutenant John Harrison died on 16th April 1917 serving with “C” Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Born on 8th November 1895 in Indianapolis, USA, he was the eldest of the seven children of parents John Arthur (an insurance broker) and Florence (née Garfield), who had married in 1894. An Old Silhillian, John Harrison had left Solihull Grammar School in 1912, aged 17, and entered his father’s insurance broking business in Birmingham. Whilst at the school he was a non-commissioned officer in the Officer Training Corps (O.T.C.)
Old Silhillian Lance Corporal Sydney Vernon Pickering, aged 22, was killed in action on 15th March 1917, whilst serving with “C” Company, 12th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Born in Moseley on 5th July 1894, he was the youngest of the two children of parents Frederick (a soap and candle manufacturer) and Emily (née Collins). His brother John Howard Pickering (1893-1985) also served in the First World War.
41-year-old Private John Jones from Shirley was killed in action on 25th January 1917, serving with the 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Also killed on the same day was Private John Henry Watkins, an Old Silhillian, who was serving with the 9th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. Both men are buried in Amara War Cemetery, situated in modern-day Iraq.