Private William Tarver, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 26th July 1915 in France. Born in Solihull in 1880, he was the second of seven children born to Henry Osborne Tarver and his wife, Elizabeth.
Henry and Elizabeth were both born in Gloucestershire, and their eldest son, Thomas, was born there in 1879. They had moved to Solihull by the time of William’s birth a year later, and were living at 19, Blossomfield by the time of the 1881 census. Henry was recorded as a waggoner.
By 1891, the family had moved to Olton, where they remained until at least 1911 when they were living at 3 Station Cottages. William had moved out and set up his own household by 1911, living in Packwood with his wife, Sarah, and son William George Tarver (born 1909). He was working as a domestic gardener.
Unpublished research by Alan Tucker indicates that William enlisted at Warwick in January 1915. Alan Tucker’s research into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment indicates that the 1st Battalion arrived at Bertrancourt on the Somme on 23rd July 1915 and remained there for the next year. During this time the Battalion suffered 73 fatalities.
On the evening of 25th July, the Battalion took over a position from the French Army at the ‘sucrerie’ (sugar factory) trench maze near the Serre Road west of Colincamps and opposite Redan Ridge. The following day saw eight men from the Battalion killed, including 35-year-old Private Tarver.
He is buried at the Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps and commemorated locally on the war memorial in St Margaret’s Church, Olton.
If you have any further information about the Tarver family, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
Tel.: 0121 704 6977
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