Two local men from Knowle died in France on 4th October 1916, whilst serving with the 7th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). The men – 35-year-old Lance Corporal William Abraham John Bird and 29-year-old Private George Samuel Thompson were friends and had sung together in the choir at Knowle parish church. They were killed by the same shell.
2nd October 1916
Old Silhillian Claude Malim Messiter, aged 36, was killed in action on 2nd October 1916, serving as a Rifleman with “D” Coy. 1st/9th Battalion, London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles). Born in Handsworth in 1880, Claude was the sixth of the eight children (three sons, five daughters) of solicitor Frederick Messiter (1839-1925) and his wife, Mary Isabel (1842-1925).
1st October 1916
Gunner Josiah Wilkinson, aged 20, died of wounds on 1st October 1916, whilst serving with “A” Bty. 77th Bde. Royal Field Artillery. He was born in Meriden and baptised at St Laurence’s Church, Meriden on 8th November 1896. He was the second of the three children (all boys) of parents William (a farm labourer) and Annie. His two brothers – William and Frank – were born in 1895 and 1899 respectively.
26th September 1916
Four local men lost their lives on 26th September 1916 serving with the British Army in France – Lance Corporal Herbert Arculus, 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; Private William Herbert Keel, 9th Battalion, Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment; Major Guy Egerton Kidd, “A” Battery 70th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery; and Corporal Sam Chidler Ravenhall, 64th Brigade, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).
25th September 1916
Gunner William John Allen was killed in action, aged 29, serving with the Royal Field Artillery. He was baptised at St Alphege Church, Solihull on 27th February 1887, and was the eldest of the eight children (five daughters, three sons) of parents William (a house painter) and his wife, Emma.
22nd September 1916
23-year-old Private Job William Mason, 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, died of wounds on 22nd September 1916 at No. 1 South African General Hospital, Abbeville, France. The hospital had begun admitting patients on 17th July 1916, although it was staffed by temporary nursing staff from the adjacent No. 2 Stationary Hospital until the arrival on 4th August of a Matron and nurses from England. See the Scarlet Finders website for more information on the S.A.G. Hospital, Abbeville.
21st September 1916
Private Tom Cubberley MM died on 21st September 1916 serving with the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. He was born in Lapworth in 1887 and grew up in the Shirley/Monkspath area.
17th September 1916
Two local men died on 17th September 1916 whilst serving in the Armed Forces. 19-year-old Lieutenant John Cyril Hodges, Royal Flying Corps, was born in Lerwick, Shetland and was killed in a flying accident at Castle Bromwich aerodrome. 26-year-old Private John Frederick Lewis Hornsby died in France whilst serving with the Wellington Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
16th September 1916
Two local men lost their lives on active service on 16th September 1916 – 41-year-old Private Alexander Arthur Astle, 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment and 23-year-old Company Sergeant Major Arthur Eric Townley, 7th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps.
15th September 1916
Four local men are known to have died on 15th September 1916 as a result of their war service: Private Edmund Dixon, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, as are Rifleman Arthur McKenzie, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Captain Eric King Parsons, Rifle Brigade. Lieutenant Euan Louis Mylne MC, 2nd Battalion Irish Guards also died of wounds on the same day.