Sergeant Robert Lyford Radford died in Birmingham on 6th October 1920 and is buried at Robin Hood Cemetery, Solihull. He was born in Bridgwater, Somerset in 1890 and was the fourth of six children of parents Robert Job (a clay worker/potter) and Frances Eliza (née Lyford) who had married in Cheltenham in 1880. Tragically, two of the children – Frances Eliza (1885-1885) and Percy Norman (1894-1895) died as infants.
Lieutenant Ralph Heaton Ward, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died in Durham on 30th September 1920. aged 38. He was born in Solihull on 1st June 1882 and was baptised at St Alphege Church, Solihull exactly one month later. His parents were Henry Arthur Ward, a master gunmaker, and Fanny Jane (née Heaton) who had married in Solihull in 1878.
On 26th August 1920, 23-year-old farmer’s assistant, George White, died of tuberculosis in Bramcote Sanatorium, near Nuneaton, two years after the death of his younger brother on active service.
Bramcote Hospital had opened in 1907 as a smallpox hospital but, as there had not been a case treated there by 1912, it was converted in 1913 into a sanatorium for the treatment of those with consumption.
Private Francis Joseph Alexander Marchant, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, died in the Kings Norton registration district area on 20th August 1920 and, as he was a Catholic, is buried at Olton Franciscan Cemetery. He was 23 years old.
John Hawkes, formerly a Private with 73rd Battalion, B. Company, no. 5 platoon, Canadian Royal Highlanders, died at 370 Beach Street, Saco, Maine, USA on 4th May 1920, aged 41 years and 20 days. His cause of death was listed as Bright’s Disease (an inflammation of the kidneys), with “life in trenches” given as a contributory factor.
Private Leslie Jones, 1st South Midland Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, died on 15th March 1920 and is buried at Olton Franciscan Cemetery, Solihull. He was born in Birmingham in 1889 and baptised at St Asaph’s Church on 7th July 1889. His parents were Thomas Henry Jones, a carpenter, and Harriet Elizabeth (née Evans), a tailoress who had married at St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Aston in 1886.
Captain Charles Murchison Bernays, formerly of the Royal Army Medical Corps, died on 6th January 1920 in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Dover, aged 39. His death was attributed to haemorrhage as a result of his having been badly gassed in 1917 whilst on active service. Prior to the outbreak of war, he had been practising as a doctor in Shirley but at the time of his death he was house surgeon at the hospital where he died.
Francis George Harris, formerly a Gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery, died at Birmingham General Hospital on 29th December 1919. He had been discharged from the Army in March 1919 so does not appear as a war casualty on official records, although he is commemorated locally in the Soldiers’ Chapel, Knowle. He is also listed on the Roll of Honour for Packwood amongst those who served.
Former Private Thomas Paget, Warwickshire Regiment, died on 20th December 1919 at City Isolation Hospital, West Heath, Birmingham aged 43. He was a former labourer and died of TB contracted whilst on active service.
Easter Sunday, 9th April 1917, saw the unveiling in Solihull of a War Shrine to the Fallen of the First World War, pictured above (image courtesy of Gordon Bragg).
The Calvary shrine was the gift of a parishioner and was designed by local artist Elphege Pippet (1868-1942). It was built by Charles Timms of Messrs. Thompson, builder, causing the Rector of Solihull to note: “everything connected with it has been done in our village, which is as it should be.”