Private Edward Victor Courtnell died on 11th October 1918 whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. He was born in Lapworth and baptised there a few months before his mother, Mary Charlotte (known as Lottie), married labourer William James Courtnell. His birth and baptism were registered under his mother’s maiden name of White.
Edward had 11 siblings (four brothers and seven sisters) born between 1901-1915, although four died as infants – Dennis Robert (1901-1902), George Robert (born and died 1906), Ethel Winifred (born and died 1909) and Phyllis (1911-1913). The name Dennis Robert was obviously a cherished name in the family as it was also given to another of the couple’s sons, born on 24th December 1908, six years after the first brother’s death.
By 1901, the family was living in Chessetts Wood, moving to School Lane, Solihull by 1911 and to Yardley by 1916 when father, William, was called up for war service, aged 40. He joined the Army Service Corps as a Driver and was discharged in September 1918 owing to a compound fracture of the right leg. He did not see any overseas service.
Edward Victor Courtnell is buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. Having left Lapworth and Solihull before the war started, he is not commemorated on those village war memorials, although he is listed on the war memorial at St Edburgha’s Church, Yardley.
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