Captain Rudolf Valintine M.C., 1st Squadron, C Company, Warwickshire Yeomanry, died on 12th November of wounds received during the “Glorious Charge” at Huj, Gaza, which took place on 8th November. His local connection with the Solihull area is that he was a member of the North Warwickshire Hunt, which met at Meriden.
Trooper John Hawkins Turner was killed in action on 8th November 1917 whilst serving with the 1st Worcestershire Yeomanry in Palestine. He was born in Duddeston, Birmingham in 1891 and was the eldest son and the fourth of the six children (two sons, four daughters) of parents Horatio George Hawkins Turner (a corn merchant) and Eliza Deakin who had married at Aston in 1886.
Private Neville Bradford Woollaston was killed in action on 7th November serving with the 15th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Shirley on 26th December 1894 and was registered as Bradford Neville Woollaston. However, he was known as Neville and his first names were transposed in most records.
Second Lieutenant Ralph Thomas Boddington, 1st/10th Battalion, London Regiment, was killed in action in Palestine on 2nd November 1917. He was born in Selly Park, Birmingham, on 8th June 1883 and was the seventh of the ninth children (four sons, three daughters) of woollen merchant, Samuel and his wife Elizabeth Mary (née Pask Hughes), who had married in 1872. Ralph was the second of their sons to die on active service. Their youngest child, Guy Livingston Boddington, was killed in action on 19th December 1916.
Two local men lost their lives on 1st November as a result of their war service. Captain William Alfred Foley, 1st Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) died of wounds after being hit by a bullet and Second Lieutenant Richard Alured Waller, 5th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers died of pneumonia.
Two local men were killed in action on 30th October 1917, both of whom were serving with the Canadian Infantry and both are commemorated on the Menin Gate, having no known grave. The two men were Private Frank Everard Harrison, and Private Aubrey John Kirby.
Gunner William Henry Eagles, aged 25, died on 28th October 1917 whilst serving with the 145th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He was born in Berkswell in 1892 and was the fifth of the nine children of parents, Henry (a railway platelayer) and Annie Elizabeth (née Joyce), who had married at Berkswell in 1884.
Four local men lost their lives on active service on 26th October 1917. Three of them were serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment – Private Albert Edward Lewis (14th Battalion), Private William Richard Parry (15th Battalion) and Private Albert Charles Thompson (15th Battalion). All three have no known grave and are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Also killed was Private Sydney West, who was serving with the 58th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment), having emigrated from Solihull.
31-year-old Old Silhillian, Second Lieutenant Henry Arthur Matthews, Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds on 25th October 1917 from injuries received the previous day. He was born in Gravelly Hill, Birmingham and was the fifth of the nine children (six boys, three girls) of parents Samuel Poole Matthews, an ironmonger, and Clementina (née Lovell) who had married in 1878. One of the children, Ernest Lovell Matthews (1894-1900) died as a child.
Two local men lost their lives on 23rd October 1917 whilst on active service in Flanders with the Royal Garrison Artillery. Acting Bombardier William Brookes Hadley was serving with “G” Anti-Aircraft Battery, whilst Acting Bombardier Herbert John Snow was with the 155th Heavy Battery.