Charlie, the Gordon Scott monkey

For many years, Charlie the Chimp could be seen somersaulting in the window of Gordon Scott’s shoe shop in Solihull High Street.

In 2014, after becoming completely exhausted, Charlie came to spend his retirement at The Core Library, Solihull. His place in the shop window was taken by his “younger brother”, Gordon.

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24th August 1917

Private Thomas Duffin, 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 24th August 1917, aged 38. He was born in Packwood in 1879 and was the third of the eight children born to parents Thomas, an agricultural labourer, and Jane (née Kirby) who had married at Packwood in 1873 when Thomas (senior), a widower, was aged 48 and Jane was 19.

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31st July 1917

Four local men lost their lives on 31st July 1917, the opening day of the Third Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele, after the surrounding village and ridge). The offensive lasted until the village was taken on 6th November 1917, at a cost of some 310,000 British casualties, and over 260,000 German casualties.

Our local casualties on the first day, the Battle of Pilckem Ridge were:

  • Captain Eric Belfield, 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
  • Private Rudolph Lawley, 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
  • Private Joseph James Lines, 10th Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
  • Private Joseph Savage, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards

Having no known grave, all of them are commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

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16th July 1917

Regular soldier, Acting Bombardier Arthur John Berry MM, 49th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery died of wounds on 16th July 1917. Born in Shirley in 1889, he was the third of the seven children (five sons, two daughters) born to parents Samuel, a labourer, and Esther (née Gardner) who had married in 1885.

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7th June 1917

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.

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