23-year-old Second Lieutenant Arthur George Ansell, 1st Field Survey Company, Royal Engineers, died of gas poisoning in No. 8 Red Cross Hospital, Boulogne, France on 25th April 1918, after being gassed at Passchendaele. He was the eldest of the three children of parents Arthur John (an agent for the Prudential Assurance Company at Solihull) and Emma (née Lynes) who had married in Notting Hill in 1893. Arthur John Ansell was a widower – his first wife, Kate Purvey (1867-1892) had died in childbirth in 1892, after just one year of marriage.
Private Horace William Bevins, 2nd/5th Gloucestershire Regiment, died on 31st March 1918, aged 19. One of his older brothers, George Frederick, born 1896, had died in 1915, serving with the Royal Marine Light Infantry. Another brother, Albert Edward, born 1894, died on 17th November 1916.
Second Lieutenant Claude Charles Langford, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) died on 23rd February 1918 at Tidworth Camp. Born in 1897 in Birmingham, he was the eldest of the four sons of parents, Oliver Charles (a cardboard box manufacturer) and Emma Blanche Lillian (née Thompson) who had married in the Solihull Registration District in 1896.
23-year-old Lieutenant Percy Lilico was killed in a flying accident at the Royal Flying Corps airfield at Northolt on 16th February 1918, as a result of his aeroplane nose-diving off a steep, low turn. He was born in Wooler, Northumberland, on 30th April 1894 and was the younger of the two sons of parents, Charles Gordon Lilico (1855-1912) and Emily (née Atkinson) (1864-1955) who had married in Edinburgh on 13th January 1890.
Two local men lost their lives on active service on 23rd December 1917 – Sergeant Walter Henry Mitchell, 111th Company, Machine Gun Corps, and Able Seaman John Henry Williams, Royal Naval Reserve, serving on HMS Surprise.
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).