Private Harold Tetley was killed in action on 30th June 1917 whilst serving with the 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Born in Small Heath in 1886, Harold attended Wellesbourne School, Acocks Green before going onto Solihull School, where he is listed as a boarder in 1901. His family was living in Bentley Heath, Solihull in 1901.
Harold was the youngest of the three children born to parents, William and Elizabeth Lucy (née Gardner). His elder brother, Samuel William (1884-1973) also apparently attended Solihull School before joining the family business and then emigrating to Australia in 1910, where he worked as an importer.
Their father, William, a screw manufacturer at Tetley Bros. Ltd, Floodgate Street, Birmingham, died in August 1902. The following month, the business was almost completely gutted by fire, causing damage to machinery and destroying finished goods.
In 1909, Harold Tetley married Constance Mary Joyce Woodward in Kidderminster, and they appear to have set up home in Aston. They seem to have had two children – William (born 1912) and Gladys Mary (born 1913).
Harold enlisted in the Army soon after war broke out, joining the 3rd Birmingham Pals (16th (Service) Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment) and receiving the service number 468. His name is included in the December 1914 issue of The Shenstonian, Solihull School’s magazine as one of those serving in the Armed Forces. The battalion was raised in September 1914, and landed at Boulogne on 21st November 1915, the same date as shown on Private Harold Tetley’s medal index card for his his entry into a theatre of war.
Hospital records show that Lance Corporal H. Tetley was admitted to hopsital on 9th November 1916 suffering from dental caries (tooth decay). He was discharged on 20th November. His notes indicate that he had two years’ service with the Army, and one year’s service in the field.
He was killed in action on 30th June 1917 and, having no known grave, is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. His name is not included on the war memorial at Solihull School but he is commemorated in the Book of Remembrance in the Hall of Memory, Birmingham (recorded as Lance Corporal H. Tetley) and at St Mary’s Church, Acocks Green.
His widow, Constance, died in Exeter in 1974, aged 87.
His brother, Samuel, had a son born in Australia in September 1917 and the boy was given the middle name Harold, presumably in memory of his late uncle.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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