2nd April 1919

Former Able Seaman Higher Grade Arthur Whitworth, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, died in Queen’s Hospital, Birmingham as a result of infective endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart). He had be demobilised on 5th January 1919 and is not listed on the Commonwealth War Graves website, although his gravestone notes that he “died from illness contracted in service.”

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20th May 1918

25-year-old Corporal William Reginald Finley, 1st Life Guards, died of wounds on 20th May 1918 after being injured by an aerial bomb some days before. Born in Bentley Heath, Solihull in 1892, he was the only son of parents William Robert and Elizabeth (née Ravenhill) who had married in Aston in 1889. The couple also had four daughters.

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6th April 1918

20-year-old Sapper Eustace Bertram Wagstaff (listed as Wagstaffe in some records) was killed in action on 6th April 1918 serving with the 69th Field Company, Royal Engineers. He was the second of the four children of parents William Charles (a coachman) and Harriet (née Freeman) who had married in London in 1891.

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16th March 1918

Gunner Alfred Bartlett, aged 40, died on 16th March 1918 whilst serving at Boyton Camp, Wiltshire with the 4th “B” Reserve Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He was born in 1877 in Stow-on-the-Wold and was the third of the ten children of parents George and Elizabeth (née Webb) who had married in Elizabeth’s home parish of Great Rollright, Oxfordshire in 1871.

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24th August 1917

Private Thomas Duffin, 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 24th August 1917, aged 38. He was born in Packwood in 1879 and was the third of the eight children born to parents Thomas, an agricultural labourer, and Jane (née Kirby) who had married at Packwood in 1873 when Thomas (senior), a widower, was aged 48 and Jane was 19.

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26th May 1917

Gunner Norman Vaughan of “D” Battery, 312th (West Riding) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery was killed in action on 26th May 1917. Born in Handsworth in 1880, he was the eighth of nine children (six boys, three girls) and the first of two sons of parents John and Maria (née Bevins) to be killed during the war. His brother, William Leonard (known as Leonard) died of wounds on 30th November 1917, serving as a Guardsman with the Grenadier Guards.

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26th January 1917

Corporal William Robert Smith, 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards died of testicular cancer in Birmingham on 26th January 1917, two days after his 21st birthday. He was the youngest of the nine children (four sons, five daughters) of parents Richard (an agricultural labourer) and Ann (née Ward). The couple had married in 1875 and then lived at Shelly Green before moving to Bentley Heath by 1891, where Richard’s parents, William and Maria, also lived. The family remained at Bentley Heath until at least 1911.

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