Wystan Hugh Auden was born in York on 21st February 1907 and was the youngest of the three sons of parents Dr George Augustus Auden (1872-1957) and his wife, Constance Rosalie (née Bicknell) (1869-1941), who was a trained missionary nurse, although she did not practise. Dr Auden apparently named his son for St Wystan, having being fascinated by the Parish Church of St Wystan whilst living in Repton, Derbyshire.Continue reading “W. H. Auden and Solihull”
V. J. Day, 15th August 1945, marked the day when the Second World War effectively came to an end as Japan surrendered and all hostilities ceased.
The Warwick County News, 18th August 1945, summarised local events with the headline “Neighbourly co-operation was the keynote of Solihull’s VJ-Day celebrations” and the observation that the day was marked by a “mood of quiet thanksgiving or in the exuberant relief of pent-up feelings according to age or nature.”
On the evening of 24th October 1923, Solihull was battered by a whirlwind (now believed to have been a tornado) that travelled a path from Sharman’s Cross to Elmdon Heath, and killed a man sheltering in a barn. Lasting only three or four minutes, reports of the whirlwind, also described as a cyclone in some articles, appeared in newspapers across the country.
Two men with a local connection lost their lives on 18th September 1918 whilst on active service – Private William Cleaver, 10th Battalion Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment and Private William John Reynolds, B Company, 12th Battalion,, Hampshire Regiment.
Gunner Abraham Birch Stowe, of Solihull, was killed in action on 10th June 1917 serving with the 138th Heavy Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery. A regular soldier, he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery in October 1908 and, in 1911, was stationed at Fort Tigné, Malta.