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.
31-year-old Old Silhillian, Second Lieutenant Henry Arthur Matthews, Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds on 25th October 1917 from injuries received the previous day. He was born in Gravelly Hill, Birmingham and was the fifth of the nine children (six boys, three girls) of parents Samuel Poole Matthews, an ironmonger, and Clementina (née Lovell) who had married in 1878. One of the children, Ernest Lovell Matthews (1894-1900) died as a child.
19-year-old Gunner Reginald Dare Day, an Old Silhillian, was killed in action on 21st October 1917 whilst serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery. Solihull School during the First World War by John Loynton indicates that he was born in 1899 and entered school in 1910, leaving in 1913 after having passed the Preliminary Oxford Local Examinations.
He didn’t actually serve under his own name but, instead, served under the name William Cartledge Garner. This is quite clear from the Register of Soldiers’ Effects, which includes the name of 78623 William Cartledge Garner with an addition underneath in different handwriting: “alias Reginald Dare Day”. His next of kin is given as his brother, Andrew S. Day.
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.