Private John Marshall was killed in action on 30th April, serving with 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Ettington, Stratford-upon-Avon in 1895 and was the youngest of the three sons of John Henry Marshall (a labourer) and his wife, Alice (née Mumford) who had married at Ettington on 25th July 1885. John Henry Marshall died in Ettington in 1933, aged 72. Tragically, his two youngest sons pre-deceased him.
Old Silhillian, Captain Leslie Kelham Sands, 10th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, died of wounds on 28th April 1916 at 2 Casualty Clearing Station, Bailleul, France. He was born on 5th January 1892 in Small Heath, Birmingham, where his father, Rev. Hubert Sands, was vicar at St Oswald’s Church. He was the second of five children: Olive Frances (1890-1969); Havilland Hubert Allport (1896-1970); Arthur Langdale (1899-1954) and Thomas Blakemore (1906-1980).
27-year-old Second Lieutenant Aubrey Herbert Bower Webster, 6th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, was accidentally killed on 25th April 1916 when a bomb exploded prematurely whilst he was on a training course in France.
He was born in Dorridge on 25th June 1888, during the time that his father, Rev. John Webster, was curate there. He lived in Packwood as a boy and was educated at King’s School, Worcester, where his name appears on the roll of honour. His name is also included on the King’s School window in Worcester Cathedral Cloisters, as well as on a memorial plaque at St Andrew’s Church, Ombersley, Worcestershire and on the village war memorial. As far as we know, he isn’t commemorated on a memorial in the Solihull Borough.
Three local soldiers died in Egypt on Easter Sunday, 23rd April 1916, serving with the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Hussars (Worcester Yeomanry). Corporal (Acting Sergeant) Cyril Henry Coombs and Private Osborn Thomas Smith are both commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, and both are listed on the Solihull School war memorial. Leslie St Clair Cheape, a member of the North Warwickshire Hunt, also died on the same day and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial. He was a Captain with the 1st Dragoon Guards, but was attached to the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Hussars.
Former gamekeeper, George Liddamore, was killed in action in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) on 21st April 1916, serving as a Private with the 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Born in Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, he seems to have moved to Berkswell sometime between 1911 and 1915. As he was a gamekeeper, it seems possible that he worked on a local estate, maybe Berkswell Hall, although his name isn’t included on the local war memorial in Berkswell. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq and on the war memorial at St John the Baptist Church, North Luffenham.
Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Courtenay Brabazon Throckmorton, known as Courtenay, was killed at the Battle of Sannaiyat, Mesopotamia (now Iraq) on 9th April 1916. He was aged 49 and was the eldest son of Captain Richard Acton Throckmorton, whose brother was Sir William Throckmorton of Coughton Court, Warwickshire, 9th Baronet. Courtenay was the heir presumptive to his uncle’s estates.
The local link is that he was a member of the North Warwickshire Hunt, which was based in Meriden.
Private (Acting Corporal) John Henry Andrews, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade, died of wounds on 6th April 1916. He was born in West Hanningfield, near Chelmsford, Essex, on 13th September 1886 and was baptised there on 10th October 1886.
Private George William Kippen was killed in action in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) on 5th April 1916, serving with the 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was the eldest of five children born to parents George (born 1861), a gun screwer, and Jane (née Farrington) and he seems to have had rather a difficult life before enlisting in the Army in March 1914. Two of his three brothers are also known to have served in the Armed Forces.
Private Arthur Watton, also with the 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died of wounds on the same day in the same place. The Battalion was mobilised for war in June 1915 and sent to Gallipoli. Owing to severe losses from combat, disease and harsh weather, the Division was evacuated to Mudros and then Egypt in January 1916. On 16th February 1916 the Battalion embarked for Basra from Suez to defend British interests against Turk forces, arriving on 28th February 1916.
Both men are commemorated on the Basra Memorial.