Lance Corporal Sydney Howard Falconbridge was killed in action on 6th February 1917 serving with the 143rd Company, Machine Gun Corps. He was born in Hampton-in-Arden in 1893 to parents, George (a police constable) and Ellen Ann (née Knight), who had married at Hatton in 1888. He was the third of the couple’s eight children (four sons, four daughters). Some records spell his name as Sidney.
Private Richard William Adams, 1st/6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was killed in action on 2nd December 1916, as was Private Percy Sears of the Army Service Corps, attached 2nd/1st (South Midland) Field Ambulance.
Three local men died on 18th November 1916: Private Thomas Howard Glover, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; Private Robert Hall, 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment; and Second Lieutenant William Douglas Henderson, 1st/8th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment.
Sergeant Hugh James Smith died on 22nd October 1916 serving with the 17th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps.
Although he was born in Bitteswell, Leicestershire, his parents, James and Harriet, were both from Berkswell, and Hugh was brought up in Hampton-in-Arden. Research by Clive Hinsull in Hampton-in-Arden: those who served 1914-18 indicates that Hugh attended George Fentham School in the village before enlisting as a regular soldier in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He served in South Africa 1899-1902 and in Somaliland 1902-1904.
Temporary Flight Sub-Lieutenant Lewis Radmore died of septic pneumonia whilst serving as a transport officer at the Headquarters of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), which was previously the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps. His death took place at Putney and he is buried in Hampton-in-Arden.
Eight local men were killed in action on 3rd September 1916 whilst serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in France. Unpublished research by the late Alan Tucker describes the 14th Battalion in assault positions near Angle Wood at 2am on 3rd September, ready for an attack towards Falfemont Farm. The farm was on high ground overlooking the Allied positions and was a German fortified strong point immediately in front of the German trenches.
The attack began at 9am with an assault by the 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers. It faltered quickly as there was no protective barrage to provide cover, and German machine guns cut down the soldiers 500 yards from the front of the farm. The 14th Battalion Royal Warwicks joined the attack, with the 15th Battalion joining in at about 1pm. The men who had survived were relieved at midnight, and the farm was finally taken on 5th September by the 1st Cheshires and 1st Bedfords. By this time, no part of the farm was left standing.
None of our eight local Royal Warwicks casualties killed in this action has a known grave and all are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
- Private Archibald Henry Brown, 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Lance Corporal Hugo Buckley, 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Rowland Hill Burgess, 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Lance Corporal Henry Wood Doble, 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Oliver Robert Foreshew, 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Garnet Smith, 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Henry Troman, 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Frederick George Wilsdon, 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Two men with a connection to the Solihull area died on 31st August 1916: Second Lieutenant John Cane Crawford, Royal Horse Artillery, was killed in action, aged 18, just two months after arriving at the Front; Captain John Wilmshurst Granger Smith, South Staffordshire Regiment was also killed in action on the same day.
The local connection is that John Cane Crawford’s family lived for a time in Hampton-in-Arden. John Smith lived in Acocks Green but was a member of Olton Cricket Club.
11 local men lost their lives on 23rd July 1916, eight of them whilst serving with the 14th (1st Birmingham) Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment (1st Birmingham Pals), and one from the 15th Battalion (2nd Birmingham Pals).
Lance Corporal Collins Jeffreys (sometimes Jeffries) Jones was killed in action during attacks on High Wood, on the Somme, on 22nd July 1916 whilst serving with the 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. His older brother, Charles Victor Jones, also a Lance Corporal in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in the same action on the following day.
Four young men from the Solihull area lost their lives on 4th June 1916 whilst on active service in the First World War: Private Matthew Richard Barlow; Private Stanley Holt; Lance Corporal Austin Geoffrey Leigh (all serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment); and Second Lieutenant Philip Leslie Patterson, North Staffordshire Regiment. All four men were aged between 17 and 21.