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.

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1st July 1916 – Knowle etc

Nine local men with a connection to the area around Balsall Common, Knowle and, Dorridge died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916:

Three of the men – John Balkwill, Thomas Cooper, and Stratford Ludlow, are commemorated in a stained glass window in the Soldiers’ Chapel at Knowle Parish Church, which was given in memory of Stratford Ludlow by his father, Brigadier-General Ludlow. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Birmingham on 5th June 1921.

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29th September 1914

Corporal Walter William Timms, 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was killed in action on 29th September 1914. He is commemorated locally on the lychgate memorial at Temple Balsall and on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Church, Balsall Common.

His baptism at Berkswell is recorded in parish registers held at Warwickshire County Record Office, and on microfilm at Solihull Central Library, which are now also available on the Ancestry website (free of charge from computers in any Solihull Library). He was baptised on 27th July 1891, to parents Walter Tom (a labourer) and Helen Matilda. Their abode was listed as Balsall.

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