Old Silhillian Lieutenant Harold Morley Eyles was killed in action on 6th November 1916 serving with the 5th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. The 21-year-old was born in Selly Park, and was the youngest child and only son amongst the four surviving children of parents William Henry Eyles and Elizabeth (née Morley). The couple had seven children but three had already died by 1911. Harold’s three surviving sisters were Elizabeth Morley (1886-1952), Clara Clarissa (1888-1950), and Jessica Mabel (1890-1978).
Harold left Solihull School (School House) in 1911. In 1910, he attended the Officer Training Corps Summer Camp with fellow pupils Percy Lilico and Norman Oliver Dingley, who were also killed in the war. On the outbreak of war, Harold was studying farming in Shropshire, but joined the Army as a Private, enlisting with the 1st Birmingham Pals on their formation, receiving the service number 224. On 30th December 1914, he was commissioned in the Worcestershire Regiment as Second Lieutenant, later being promoted to Lieutenant.
His medal index card indicates he first saw overseas service in 1915. A report of his death in the local newspaper indicates that he went to the Front in the middle of 1915, and was slightly wounded. He returned to the Front a few months before his death.
Lieutenant Eyles was killed in action on 6th November 1916 and is buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval. He is commemorated locally on the war memorial at Solihull School.
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