Harry Mitchell Harris and Sydney William Wootton, two men with a connection to Knowle and Castle Bromwich respectively, died on 30th August 1915 but we don’t know exact details of the local link in either case.
We’re not quite sure of the connection with Hockley Heath of Private Thomas Cecil Davies (also listed in some records as Davis) who died on 29th August 1915 serving as a Private with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Yardley in 1889 and lived there until at least 1901. His mother, Annie, died between 1901 and 1911. By 1911, his widowed father, Thomas, had moved to the Lodge, Chelmsley House, Marston Green, but Thomas Cecil was not listed with him.
An Order of Service for St. Patrick’s Church, Salter Street in 1916 includes amongst the list of local men who died, Lance Corporal Edward Thomas Blackham, Worcestershire Yeomanry. The document notes that he was born on 18th August 1890 and died on 28th August 1915.
Edward’s connection with Salter Street isn’t known – he was born in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, and lived with his parents and two sisters in Sparkhill on the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Probate records from 1915 also give his home as being in Sparkhill.
It’s known that he attended King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, Birmingham and continued to play cricket for the Camp Hill Old Edwardians. He embarked at Avonmouth with the Warwickshire Yeomanry on 9th April 1915, arriving in Alexandria for service with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 24th April 1915. He was killed in action four months later and is buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Turkey.
Although mentioned in the Order of Service, Edward’s name isn’t included on the Salter Street war memorial so exactly what his connection with the parish was isn’t known. If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
Tel.: 0121 704 6934
Private Sidney Butler, 8th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who died at sea on 25th August 1915 is commemorated on the war memorial at St Patrick’s Church, Salter Street.
He was born in 1893 in Kenilworth, Warwickshire to parents Thomas and Hannah (also recorded in records as Annie), who married in 1885. Sidney seems to have been the eldest of eight children who survived infancy out of the 12 children born to the couple.
Parents, Thomas and Hannah, were recorded in Kenilworth on the 1911 census with seven of their eight children: Theresa (16); Jesse (14); Winnie (12); Bertie (13); Nellie (9); Edward (7); and Ethel (3). 19-year-old Sidney was living in Anglesey, and working as a 2nd footman.
Sidney is listed on the Kenilworth War Memorial, but we don’t know his connection with Salter Street. Presumably, he must have moved to the parish between 1911 and when he enlisted in the Army. If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977
Corporal Norman Samuel Hurrell, serving with “C” Company, Warwickshire Yeomanry, died of wounds at sea on 23rd August 1915. The Warwickshire Yeomanry had landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, on 18th August 1915 and took part in the attack on Chocolate Hill, and Hill 112, on 21st August, so it seems likely that Corporal Hurrell was injured in this attack and was on board a hospital ship when he died of wounds he had received.
Leonard Adams was born in Knowle on 18th April 1897 to parents Thomas and Ada, and was baptised at Knowle parish church on 27th May 1897. He was the third of five children born to the couple and the last of their three boys to be born in Knowle. Leonard’s two younger sisters were born in Dudley and Stourbridge, and the family then moved to Droitwich and Worcester.
Leonard died in Gallipoli on 21st August 1915, aged 19, serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion Welsh Borderers, having previously served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. He is not commemorated locally, as far as we know, and doesn’t seem to be included on the war memorials of any of the other places with which his family was associated.
Three days after the death of Private Joseph Williams aboard the hospital ship, Valdivia, another local man also died of wounds on board the same ship.
Lance Corporal Charles Thomas Hutchings, only surviving child of parents Thomas (a tailor) and Matilda Hutchings of Bentley Heath, Dorridge and Knowle, died on 16th August 1915, serving with the 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He is recorded as a Lance Corporal in Soldiers Died in the Great War but as a Private on the Commonwealth War Graves website.
Charles was born in 1895 in Birmingham but by 1901 he and his parents were living at Bentley Heath with his grandfather, Richard Hutchings, who was a widower, aged 54. By 1911, Charles and his parents had moved to Tile House Green, Knowle. Charles was the couple’s only surviving child, but the census notes that he had had a sibling who had died.
Charles was educated at Solihull School and was a member of the Officers’ Training Corps there. He joined the Army on 17th August 1914, and first entered a Theatre of War (Balkans) on 4th July 1915. He is commemorated at Dorridge, Knowle and Hockley Heath war memorials, and at Dorridge Cricket Club, although he is not included on the war memorial at Solihull School.
If you have any further information about Charles Thomas Hutchings, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
Tel.: 0121 704 6977
13th August 1915 saw the loss of two men from Castle Bromwich, both serving with the Hampshire Regiment, and one man from Barston/Knowle, serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
- Private Benjamin James Thomas Harris (apparently known as Thomas) serving with the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, drowned after H.M.T. Royal Edward was torpedoed whilst transporting Commonwealth troops to Gallipoli. He was 19 years old.
- Private Alfred Richard Irons was one of three brothers from the Irons family of Castle Bromwich and Yardley to die in the war. He died in Gallipoli, at sea, whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, and is also presumed to have been aboard the Royal Edward. He was 18 years old.
- Private Joseph Williams died of wounds received at Gallipoli whilst serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and is buried at sea.
Three men from places in the Solihull Borough died on 10th August 1915:
- Private Gilbert Walter Bick from Olton died in Gallipoli whilst serving with the 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment.
- Signaller Tom Turner from Solihull died in Gallipoli whilst serving with the 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
- Sergeant Edward John Cox M.S.M. from Copt Heath, Knowle, serving with the Warwickshire Yeomanry, died from enteric fever in Egypt, having volunteered to stay aboard the transporter H.M.T. Wayfarer to tend to horses after the ship was torpedoed.
Two local men lost their lives on 2nd August 1915 whilst on active service – Private William Manton, 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and Sergeant Lawrence Waters, 5th Battalion, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry.