Second Lieutenant Roland Bushell, “A” Battery, 282nd Army Brigade, Royal Field Artillery died of wounds on 26th September 1917. Born in Handsworth in 1887, his local connection is that he is known to have lived for a short time in Alderbrook Road in 1913, and was a member of Copt Heath Golf Club. He was the only son of jewellery manufacturer, Herbert Bushell, and his wife, Agnes (née Davies) who had married in 1886. The couple also had two younger daughters, Eva (1890-1981) and Muriel Doris (1899-1998). As far as we know, this branch of the Bushell surname doesn’t seem to have been related to Mr Warin Foster Bushell, who was headmaster of Solihull School from 1921-1927.
Roland followed in his father’s footsteps and became a manufacturing jeweller, with the family trading as Herbert Bushell & Son, Northampton Street, Birmingham.
In October 1912, Roland married Miss May Ellis at Holy Trinity, Finchley and it seems they they had an extended “honeymoon tour”, being listed in the Cheltenham Chronicle in March 1913 as amongst the visitors to the King’s Hotel, and also making the Yorkshire Evening Post 11th August 1913:
FORGOT LICENCE ON HONEYMOON TOUR
At Colwyn Bay, Roland Bushell of Alderbrook Road, Solihull, was summoned for failing to produce his motor-car licence when driving through Colwyn Bay on August 3.
When stopped by a constable, the defendant said he was on his honeymoon tour and had forgotten to bring that particular licence with him when leaving home. In the special circumstances, the justices felt that a fine of 1s and costs would meet the case.
It’s clear from his medal index card that Roland Bushell enlisted in the ranks as a Gunner, prior to being commissioned Second Lieutenant (on probation) on 23rd December 1916.
He died of wounds on 26th September 1917. An announcement of his death appeared alongside his photograph in the Daily Mirror, 9th October, 1917 giving his address as Shillingford, Four Oaks, Warwickshire. The same article says he was killed in action, although his medal index card notes that he died of wounds. He is buried at Gwalia Hill Cemetery. He is also commemorated on the war memorial at Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield and on the Roll of Honour at Copt Heath Golf Club.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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