Second Lieutenant Ralph Thomas Boddington, 1st/10th Battalion, London Regiment, was killed in action in Palestine on 2nd November 1917. He was born in Selly Park, Birmingham, on 8th June 1883 and was the seventh of the ninth children (four sons, three daughters) of woollen merchant, Samuel and his wife Elizabeth Mary (née Pask Hughes), who had married in 1872. Ralph was the second of their sons to die on active service. Their youngest child, Guy Livingston Boddington, was killed in action on 19th December 1916.
Two local men were killed in action on 30th October 1917, both of whom were serving with the Canadian Infantry and both are commemorated on the Menin Gate, having no known grave. The two men were Private Frank Everard Harrison, and Private Aubrey John Kirby.
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.
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.
Three local men lost their lives on active service on 9th October 1917:
- Lance Corporal Joseph Richard Andrews, 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Albert Edmund Biddle, 148th Company, Machine Gun Corps
- Private Walter Reuben Clark, 1st/7th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Private Horace James Davis, 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment died on 5th October 1917. He was born in Solihull and baptised at St Alphege Church on 26th February 1893. He was the seventh of the eight children (six daughters, two sons) born to parents, James (a labourer) and Harriett (née Clifford) who had married in Solihull in 1875. One of the children – Alice Mary – didn’t survive infancy – being born and dying in 1878. A younger sister was born ten years later and named Alice Mary after her deceased sibling.
Nine local men lost their lives on 4th October 1917 whilst on active service:
- Lance Corporal Edwin John Adams, 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Eric Ashley Ellis, 13th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
- Sergeant Charles Haynes, 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Second Lieutenant Albert Bertini Heywood, 10th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
- Private Lewis James Knight, 30th Battalion, Australian Infantry
- Lance Corporal George Henry Pegg, 1st/6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private William Savage, 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
- Private William Thomas Tropman, 1st/8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Gunner Arthur Whinfrey, 256th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Private Frank Holland was killed in action on 1st October 1917 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Aged 36, he was the youngest of the nine children (four sons, five daughters) of parents James (a jeweller) and Hannah (nee Kiffin) who had married in 1859 and set up home in Aston and then in Handsworth.
Second Lieutenant Roland Bushell, “A” Battery, 282nd Army Brigade, Royal Field Artillery died of wounds on 26th September 1917. Born in Handsworth in 1887, his local connection is that he is known to have lived for a short time in Alderbrook Road in 1913, and was a member of Copt Heath Golf Club. He was the only son of jewellery manufacturer, Herbert Bushell, and his wife, Agnes (née Davies) who had married in 1886. The couple also had two younger daughters, Eva (1890-1981) and Muriel Doris (1899-1998). As far as we know, this branch of the Bushell surname doesn’t seem to have been related to Mr Warin Foster Bushell, who was headmaster of Solihull School from 1921-1927.