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