Help us identify Borough casualties

So far, we have over 800 names on our list of those from places now in the Solihull Borough, or from the Solihull Rural District, who died as a result of their war service. However, we are struggling to identify in official records some of the people named on local memorials. This can be because there are too many people of the same name, or because we don’t have full names or service details, or because we have found possible individuals but can’t be sure of any local connection.

If you can help with information on any of the following, especially exact dates of death, please let us know:

Commemorated at Berkswell

  • Charles Liddimore – listed on a roll of honour at Berkswell Church but not included on the war memorial. Doesn’t appear to be listed on the Commonwealth War Graves records

Commemorated at Bickenhill

  • Private Harold Mitchell, Gloucestershire Regiment
    Could this be Private John Harold Mitchell 36636, died 8th July 1918, aged 22? His mother lived in Sparkhill, and he was born in Posenhall, near Broseley, Shropshire. In 1911 he was aged 14 and unemployed, living in Madeley, Shropshire with his Warwickshire-born parents, John Henry and Ellen. We don’t know of any connection with Bickenhill, though.

Commemorated at Hockley Heath

  • G. Hawkins – full name, rank and regiment unknown
  • J. James – full name, rank and regiment unknown
  • H. J. Keel – full name, rank and regiment unknown
  • R. Wood – full name, rank and regiment unknown

Commemorated at Marston Green Cottage Homes

  • F. Cook – full name, rank and regiment unknown
  • A. Davis – full name, rank and regiment unknown. Admission registers for the Homes have both an Albert and an Alfred Davis admitted. Alfred was born in 1890 and admitted to the Homes in 1901 before leaving for Canada in 1906. He appears to have survived the war. Albert Davis was born on 19th January 1899 but we haven’t been able to trace him with any certainty so have been unable to confirm him as the A. Davis on the memorial
  • William Hall – born c. 1899 in Birmingham. Inmate in Cottage Homes on 1901 census. We have been unable to trace him in other records.
  • John Harris – believed to be the Jack Harris, aged three, in the Homes on the 1901 census. Born Birmingham, but we have been unable to trace him further.
  • Charles Hill – rank and regiment unknown.
  • John Page – believed to have been born in 1882, but we have been unable to trace further with any certainty.
  • Thomas Smith – rank and regiment unknown. This could be the same Thomas Smith who, aged 14, was listed as an inmate of the Homes in 1901.
  • Arthur Stanton – listed in the Cottage Homes, aged 8, in 1901, born Birmingham. Birth indexes suggest his surname was actually Stinton but we haven’t been able to trace further. It looks as if his parents were James Henry and Mary Ann (née Taylor)
  • A. Taylor – full name, rank and regiment unknown.

Commemorated at Solihull

  • Private Edward Bright, Royal Berkshire Regiment
    It’s known he must have died before Easter 1917, as his name is recorded in Solihull Parish Magazine as being on the wartime shrine which was unveiled at Easter 1917.
    We’re wondering if this is Private Edward Bright who died of wounds on 28th August 1916. He served in the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment but was attached to the 5th Bn. Royal Berkshire Regiment. He was born Mile End, London in 1875 and enlisted in Birmingham. However, we have no evidence of any Solihull connection, so don’t know if this is the correct person.
  • Driver James Evans, Army Service Corps
    A possible candidate is James Evans ASC 5th remount R4/11370 who died on 10th October 1917, but he was born in Swansea, lived there at the time of enlistment, and enlisted there, so we haven’t been able to find a connection with Solihull.
  • Private James Evans, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Private S. Hughes
    Although not commemorated on the Solihull War Memorial, he is listed in the Solihull Parish Magazine, October 1916, as having died of wounds. Is this a mistake, hence not being listed on the memorial? Or has his name accidentally been missed off the memorial?
  • A. Wheeler – full name, rank and regiment unknown
    Listed as one of “those serving – fell” on the war memorial of Solihull Lodge (no. 506) of the Grand Independent Order of Loyal Caledonian Corks. The war memorial was in Christ Church Congregational Church, Warwick Road, Solihull.

Commemorated at Solihull School

  • I. Cross – full name, rank and regiment unknown. There is a suggestion that this could be J. Cross, although we still can’t trace anyone with certainty.
  • W. Hutchings – full name, rank and regiment unknown,
    although this may be Acting Bombardier William Hutchings, Royal Field Artillery, died on 7th May 1915. However, we don’t know for certain whether he attended Solihull School. Can you confirm this? Another possibility is William Henry Hutchins [sic] who is commemorated on Acocks Green war memorial.
  • S. Robinson – full name, rank and regiment unknown. We think this may be Sidney Herbert Robinson MC, who attended Solihull School and was a member of the Officers Training Corps. However, he actually survived the war and became a solicitor in Sutton Coldfield.
  • I. Williams – full name, rank and regiment unknown. Could be J. Williams according to a poster created by the school’s art teacher

If you can tell us more about any of these men, please get in touch.

Tracey
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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