9. Private Joseph Leslie Collis – one of the first pupils at the newly opened Kings Norton Boys School in 1911, who joined the Dorsetshire Regiment in 1916. Joseph was reported as ‘missing’ on 16th May 1917, after an attack on the village of Roeux in the Battle of Arras. He was just nineteen years old.
10. Lance Corporal Leslie Morris Bayley – who came from a well known Black Country family of coal and iron masters. On leaving school, he joined the 3rd Birmingham Pals in 1914 but served with the 11th Royal Warwicks in France from November 1915. He was killed on 23rd May 1917 in the attack on Guemappe in the Battle of Arras. He was an only child
11. Second Lieutenant Frank Bowler Goodison – a Birmingham University medical student when he enlisted in the 1st Birmingham Pals in 1914. He was wounded in 1916 and on recovery joined the Royal Flying Corps with the intention of being a pilot. He was shot down by a German patrol, led by Baron Manfred von Richthofen. He survived but died in a German hospital seven weeks later.
12. Private Harry Cecil Mills – who died in June 1917 as a result of wounds received when a German shell hit his machine gun dugout at Hell Fire Corner, on the Menin Road, near Ypres. He died from his wounds on 21st June 1917. He left a wife and two daughters aged, one and five.
The following men were all killed fighting in the Third Battle of Ypres, or Passchendaele as it is now known.
13. Private William Clement Ward – following his involvement in a British preparatory attack on the German positions south of Ypres at Messines Ridge, William was posted as ‘wounded’ in the war diary for 2 August but as ‘wounded and missing’ in later official papers. He was not officially posted as ‘killed in action’ by the War Office until 21 December 1917. Age 31. (This article has been updated with further information about William’s family background.)
15. Lance-Sergeant William Frederick Hunt – – served in the same battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as Harry Patch. He was reported as wounded in the Regimental Diary on 16 August, but did not make it back to the British lines as stretcher bearers found it impossible to reach the wounded sinking in a morass of mud. He is one of some 35,000 men with no known grave, whose names appear on the memorial at Tyne Cot, Belgium.
16. Lieutenant Hugh Randolf Ryan-Bell – hit by a sniper whilst leading his company in a successful attempt to capture a farm and subsequently killed as a result of a shell wound the following day. He died on 29 August 1917, age 30. Had he lived he would have received the Distinguished Service Order.
17. Private Albert Sydney Woodroffe – one of 55 ‘Other Ranks’ in the 1/5 Royal Warwickshire Regiment that were killed in the Battle of Broodseinde on 4th October 1917 in the middle phase of the Battle of Passchendaele. His father enlisted in the RAF a year later, at the age of 45 years, and served the war out as a driver (petrol)
18. Lance Corporal Henry Serle Arkell – was the son of Daniel Arkell the architect of Kings Norton Infirmary (later Selly Oak Hospital). He joined the 16th Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was wounded on 6th October 1917 in the trenches along the Ypres to Menin Road. He died the same day.
19. Gunner William Leslie Davies – took part in the Salonika Campagne in 1917.The extremes of climate and disease, especially malaria caused more deaths than the fighting. William died on 22nd October 1917 at Summerhill Camp, near Salonika, from malaria.
20. 2nd Lt Henry Arthur Matthews – known as Arthur, was the manager and director of Evans and Matthews, Ironmongers, Bull Street, Birmingham. He enlisted as a volunteer under the Derby Scheme to serve at a later date and was posted to 65th BrIgade RFA in September 1917. Less than a month later he died he from his wounds on 25th October 1917 in the First Battle of Passchendaele.
21. Lieutenant Frank Goodheart Procter. Frank’s brother Arthur was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. In 1916 Frank was sent back to Blighty to recover from Trench Fever He returned to the front in 1917 as a commissioned officer and was wounded in the Third Battle of Ypres. He died from his wounds 37 days later at the General Hospital in Etaples.
22. Private Harold Ostin Doody – was killed in the Third Battle of Gaza under the leadership of Sir General Edmund Allenby. His brother-in-law, James Archibald McIlroy, who graduated as a doctor at Birmingham University and became a surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, was in 1914 one of two physicians on the First Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton.
23. Second Lieutenant Herbert Jennings Boocock– was killed in the Third Battle of Gaza part of the Palestine Campaign in 1917 lead by Sir General Edmund Allenby
24. Sergeant William George Edmondston – served in South Africa as a Constable during the Second Boer War. He re-enlisted in 1914. In 1917 William was posted to Egypt and took part in the Palestine Campaign under Sir General Edmund Allenby who gave him a mention in Despatches for his gallantry and for which he was awarded the Serbian Gold Medal. His elder brother Robert was killed in action just a month later.
25. Gunner Eric Powell Davies – died from accidental electrocution. He was attached to the 1st Army School of Mortars in France at the time of his death. His brother William had died just a month earlier in Salonika from malaria.
26. Lance Corporall Eric Bernard Beston . Eric’s grandfather was one of Birmingham’s first train drivers. His father, Joseph, was in partnership with John Skirrow Wright, one of Birmingham’s prominent social reformers and was a renowned speaker in the cause of the poor. Eric was conscripted into the ASC Mechanical Transport Company and probably did not serve abroad. He died following an operation at the Royal Herbert Hospital at Woolwich.
27. Piper Robert Stuart Edmondston– was born in Scotland, into a family which had been tailors for three generations, and relocated to Birmingham to work for Curtis and Curtis, High-Class Tailors. Robert enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders in 1915. He was killed by a sniper while making new jodhpurs for his officer one night in the attic of a farmhouse. The officer presented the jodhpurs to his widow after the war and they are now a family heirloom.
28. Sergeant David Vaughan Evans – joined the Royal Field Artillery in Swansea as a signaller. He served in France initially but in 1917 he was posted to Egypt. The circumstances of his death are not known but he died in No 5 Hospital, Alexandra on 21st December 1917.
29. Lieutenant T Ewart Mitton – known as Ewart, was the cousin of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. John had been orphaned at the age of twelve and spent many happy times at his Aunt Mabel’s house, Abbotsford, 69 Oxford Road as evidenced by the personal recollections of John’s youngest daughter, Priscilla. Ewart served in the Royal Engineers Signals Section and was killed in a tragic railway accident in Belgium on Christmas Eve 1917, aged twenty.
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