Monday 27 May 2013

Elmdon Solihull War memorial 1916 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945

Elmdon Solihull War Memorial 1916 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945.

This is the information and names on the Elmdon War Memorial, which is situated just outside St Nicholas Church in Elmdon, Solihull, West Midlands. The church is also known as the church in the park. About 7 years ago, I had a few months where I had severe dizziness. Not being able to get out and do everyday normal things. I started to research my families history on the computer. When a little better I started to take note of the War Memorial in my area and to photograph and list the names on them. Strange occupation - well not really if you are looking for a great uncle' memorial who died in the second world war. Still haven't found a local memorial for Frederick Ward (1918 - 1944), who lived on Valley Road (now Solihull) - but I live in hope. He is listed in the Birmingham Hall of Memory book 2 though, but not locally.

He was a private, Service No: 4041922. Date of Death: 28/06/1944. Age: 26. Regiment/Service: King's Shropshire Light Infantry, 1st Bn. The Herefordshire Regt. Son of Robert and Jane Elisabeth Ward, of Sheldon, Birmingham. 

Elmdon war memorial
This is the Elmdon War Memorial taken in about 2007.

Elmdon War memorial names
The wording and names on the plaque are as following:

To the glory of God and in proud memory of the men of Elmdon who gave their lives in the two world wars. 1916 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945.

William Bolton
Albert Britt
Henry Britt
Charles Frost
Charles Haynes
David Jelfs
Clive latch
Frederick Pillinger
Percy Seers
Claud Wilks

Sargant T Cox, Elmdon war grave
The only other gravestone that is in the small church yard with a war gravestone is the one above.

1575418 Sargent T Cox, Navigator Bomber, Royal Airforce. 5th May 1943 aged 33. Son of Thomas Benjamin and Florence Elizabeth Cox, of Solihull, husband of Anne Cox, of Sheldon, Birmingham.
In loving memory of Thomas. Made the supreme sacrifice until the day break and the shadows flee away.

1916 to 1918 Great War information.

Information can be found on the War Graves Commission website  and they are on the memorials in other countries. But I wanted to know a little more as how many times do you pass by and not have a clue about these people. So I cross referenced  what information I could find and discovered just a little more on some of the brave soldiers. 

William Graham Bolton

Royal Army Medical Corps born Aston in Birmingham. Enlisted in Birmingham Private no 103149 died at sea on the 4th May 1917. He was on the transporter "Transylvania" when it was torpedoed of Cape Vado. Over 400 soldiers died. In the 1901 census William was living at Court 18, 7 house Clifton Rd in Aston Birmingham. No father shown but mother Eunice from Bolton a washerwoman. William was 14 and an office boy and porter. He had 4 siblings of Flora G (12), Herbert (10), Thomas (8) and Eunice (6).  From this census he would have been about 30 years old when he died at sea.  In 1911 William was a school attendance officer for Birmingham Education and he lived in Aston Manor.

Albert Britt   

Henry Britt

Sidney Britt
In 1901 some of the Britt family lived at Elmdon Heath. the father William Britt was 49 and a bricklayer born in Hastings. His wife Mary was 47 and born in Staffordshire. Their children were Ernest aged 17 a cycle worker born in Sheldon. Henry aged 15 born Sheldon, Cyril aged 13 born Elmdon, Ethel aged 10 born Elmdon and Sydney aged 8 born Elmdon.

Identification can sometimes be a little difficult from a census as they may have been listed under their nickname or use their middle name, especially if the father was the same name. However Ernest, Henry William, Cecil and Sydney are all the names given under their birth registration in Meriden.

The following Britt information are as such:

Albert Henry Britt - Coldstream Guards 1st Battalion. Born Birmingham, enlisted in Birmingham and lived in Solihull. Private killed in action on the 29th October 1914 in France and Flanders aged about 35.
Born 1879 in Birmingham. In 1911 he lived at 3 The Row, Elmdon Heath with his wife Rose aged 28 and four children Annie, Ethel, Edith and Albert. He was a bricklayer and labourer. He is also on the Solihull Memorial. 

Henry William Britt born in 1885. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any further information for a Henry William but a William Henry was born in Elmdon, he was 26 years old. he lived at Dury Lane, Solihull. He lived with his wife Lily and children William and Beatrice. He was a general labourer. Britt W H of the Royal Berkshire Regiment 5th Battalion. He was a corporal number 37397. He died on the 27th November 1917 of wounds aged about 32. He was formally of the 4/10619, R. War. Regt. He is also mentioned on Solihull War Memorial as William Henry Britt.    

Sidney Britt - South Wales Borders 4th Battalion. Born Birmingham, enlisted Birmingham and lived in Knowle. Private no 3/24880 died 13th February 1917. He died of wounds in Mesopotamia. In 1911 Sidney was still single and living with his parents in Elmdon Heath. He was a plate eager and would have been 24 when he died. He is listed as L Cpl Sidney Britt on the Solihull War Memorial as well.

Charles Frost 

Private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 11th Battalion no 8257. He died killed in action on the 11th July 1916 aged 21. He lived in Small Heath, Birmingham. Son of Emily Frost of 68 Watery lane Small Heath and the late Charles Frost. Although there is a Charles E Frost listed on the Solihull War Memorial of a different regiment. Which may mean that it is not the same person and as yet have found no connection to Solihull.

Charles Haynes  

Charles Haynes of Elmdon enlisted in Birmingham aged 31 - a bricklayer by trade. Son of the late Charles and Annie Haynes, of Elmdon, Birmingham. Unmarried and a sergeant and service number 200523. He was killed in action on the 4th October 1917 aged 35 . He was mentioned in dispatches by Field Marshall Finch on 13.01.16. Charles Haynes senior had been the estate bailiff and gardener for Elmdon Heath. He and his wife Annie and brother Victor, a professional footballer and sister Annie lived in Elmdon in 1911.

David Jelfs

Corporal of the Middlesex regiment 26th Battalion. He died the 13th September 1918 aged 22. Son of Harry and Matilda Jelfs, of Paxford born in 1895, Chipping Campden, Glos. Native of Bretforton, Honeybourne, Worcs. He lived at Lifford Lane, Kings Norton when he enlisted at 20 years of age. He was a carter by trade.  His mother Mrs Mitilda Jelfs lived at Marston Green Lane, Elmdon in 1919 when his property was returned to her in 1919.  

Clive Latch 

Clive Latch or Clive Chateris of Haddon, Warwick Rd Solihull. Lance Corporal, Service No:16329.Date of Death: 28/06/1916 of wounds in France, Age:25, Regiment/Service: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 9th Bn as enlisted in Belfast. He left a widow Emma Constance Latch.

Frederick Pillinger

Private, Service No:28682, Date of Death: 24/08/1918, Age: 29, Regiment/Service: Royal Warwickshire Regiment 16th Battalion. Son of William and Louie Pillinger, of Birmingham; husband of Annie Lily Pillinger, of 4, Greenway Buildings, Cattell Rd., Small Heath, Birmingham. In 1911 he lived with Annie and his two small children at 6 Chestnut Terrace, Popular rd. Sparkhill a driller at a cycle factory.

Percy Seers

Birth Place: Birmingham
Residence: Birmingham
Death Date: 2 Dec 1916
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Birmingham
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Army Service Corps
Number: T4/248654
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 75, Royal Army Medical Corps.

In 1901 Percy lived with his mother and father, Eliza and Samuel in Bickenhill one of 9 siblings. His father was an agricultural labourer. He was born in 1898 and would have been 18 when he died.

Claud P Wilks

He was a corporal K R RIF C. He is also on the Solihull Memorial for the First World War casualties.

 Will be looking at several more War Memorials over the next few months in the area of Solihull and Birmingham. 


  1. This is a wonderful site and fits in with what I am doing I am doing the history of the local lads in WW1 from Solihull/Knowle area and parts of Olton that were the Solihull Parish in 1914 - 18.
    Many thanks

  2. Thank you once again. There are so many names across the regions that you have mentioned. Good luck with your research, I would be interested in having a look when you have finished.

    Best wishes Sue

  3. William Henry is my great grandfather. He died at a dressing station near Viller Guislain, France on 22/11/1917. William Henry left 6 children, Beatrice, William, Hilda, Jess, Frank (My grandfather who was 4 when he died), and Lily. The oldest two, Bill and Beat were sent to live in Canada after he died and their mum, Lily, must have had a tough time being a single mum of 6 in the pre-welfare state world of the post great war Britain, and I believe remarried unhappily. My grandfather didn't seem to know much about cousins, etc and was unaware of Britts living in Solihull and Elmdon. I believe that the William Henry on the Solihull war memorial is the same as the Henry on the Elmdon memorial. William Henry grew up in Elmdon and attended the school in Elmdon cottages. he may have been known as Henry to distinguish him from his father William, as a child. Frank was a kind and decent man and although he didn't know much about his father's death and life, he did have his commemorative plaque from WW1 sitting on the mantelpiece in his home at Orchard Avenue, Solihull until he died in 1987. In 2004 I visited the war grave of William Henry.

  4. When researching there were 2 Henry Britts in Solihull. The Henry William that lived with Albert and Sidney and on the birth register as Henry William. Then there was William Henry - your great grandfather. It may be the same person or not on the memorial, but I would recommend further research to clarify. I only did some brief research and so thank you for your information.

  5. Rank:PrivateService No:4041922Date of Death:28/06/1944Age:26Regiment/Service:King's Shropshire Light Infantry 1st Bn. The Herefordshire Regt. Grave ReferenceXIII. E. 13.CemeteryBANNEVILLE-LA-CAMPAGNE WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information:

    Son of Robert and Jane Elisabeth Ward, of Sheldon, Birmingham.

  6. Thank you who ever left this information. He is listed on a French memorial, but I had hoped to find something a little bit more local to commemorate his life near where he lived.
    Thank you Sue


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