BIRMINGHAM GREAT WAR TIMELINE


Some dates are not exact but refer to the month in which an event occurred. All those with unfamiliar names are detailed in ‘Birmingham 1914-1918; a Great War Trail’


1914


August 3. The three Birmingham Territorial battalions arrive back at Snow Hill Station from their annual camp in Rhyl

August 6. William Bowater to take over as Lord Mayor so Colonel Martineau can join his regiment

August 6. Able Seamen Victor McKey and Willim Nicholas – first Birmingham servicemen to be killed when HMS Amphion was hit by a mine

August 7. First c50 Germans register with the police as enemy aliens

August 9. HMS Birmingham sinks a German submarine

August 12. 1st Southern General Hospital mobilised at the University

August 18. Lady Mayoress Depot established in Broad Street Chambers

August 26. Captain Henry Clutterbuck – in France first Birmingham officer killed in action

August 28. Birmingham Post editorial advocates formation of a City Battalion

August 29. Lord Mayor Bowater contacts Lord Kitchener and offers to form a City Battalion

September 1. First convoy of wounded arrive at the 1st Southern General Hospital from Moor Street Station

September 3. No 44, Islington Row becomes HQ of the Birmingham War Refugees Fund

September 4. First Belgian refugees arrive

September 5. Anti-German riot at Harry Styles’ pork butcher’s shop in Ladypool Road

September 7. Art Gallery Extension opened as a special recruiting office for the City Battalions

September 7. Snow Hill Station rest station opened

September 9. Harrison Barrow withdraws as the next Lord Mayor because of his anti-war views

September 9. Charles Carrington join the 1st City Battalion

October 5. The 1st City Battalion arrives at Sutton Park

October 26. Curzon Hall opened as a recruiting centre

October 26. A separate base for the Lady Mayoress Depot opened in Great Charles Street to organise garments for civilian distress

November 18 First patient admitted to Hill Crest, Richmond Hill Road


1915


January 26 Death of Vernon Austin, son of Herbert

February. William Mills designs his first hand grenade – the ‘Mills’ bomb

March 13. The three city battalions are inspected at Calthorpe Park by General Campbell

March 22. The three city Territorial battalions cross to France

April 17. The 3rd City Battalion leaves Spring Hill College for Malvern

April 22. A ‘Serbian relief’ is held in the Town Hall by the Women’ Volunteer Reserve

May 9. The Birmingham Daily Post publishes Edward Barry’s experiences as a Lusitania survivor

May 10. Dudley Road Poor Law Infirmary takes its first wounded patients

May 11. Lt Colonel Ernest Martineau forced home from the 1/6th Warwicks in France as a result of illness

May 14. Anti-German attack on a ‘Danish’ run restaurant of Mr Sackfeldt, ‘John’s Fish Restaurant’, High Street

May 14. Lady Mayoress Depot forms a POW Sub-Committee to organise parcels

May 15. Lordswood opens as an auxiliary hospital

May 20. The ‘Brummie Germans’ present a loyal memorial to the Lord Mayor after the sinking of the Lusitania

May 28 Highbury given by Austen Chamberlain opened as a military hospital

June 1.Extraction of toluene, an ingredient of TNT, begins at Nechells Gas Works

June 2. Italian ‘colony’ celebrates Italian entry into the war in Victoria Square

June 26. Over 50 German males escorted from Steelhouse Lane Police Station to New Street and a train to a camp in Cheshire

June 28 and July 3. Second Lieutenant Herbert James wins Birmingham’s first VC whilst serving in the 4/Worcs at Gallipoli

July 5. First patients arrive at Hollymoor Hospital, the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital

July 22. King George V arrives at New Street Station for his two day visit. Visits BSA. 1st Southern General Hospital, Metropolitan Carriage works, Kings Norton Metal Co etc.

July 30. First patients arrive at Rubery Hill Hospital, the 1st Birmingham War Hospital

July 31. Reverend Gertrude von Petzold, minister of Waverley Road Church, is deported

August 4. Birmingham Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Club opened in Newton Street by the Earl of Neath

August 9. Lieutenant William Slim of the 9th Warwicks wounded at Gallipoli and evacuated back to England

August 19. Death of Professor Henri Chatelain in the French Army. Formerly of the French Dept at Birmingham University

August 4. The Bishop of Birmingham presides over a church parade at the 1st Southern General Hospital on the anniversary of the start of the war

September 14. 2nd Lt Raymond Lodge, son of Sir Oliver Lodge, killed in the Ypres Salient

September 14. Times article by the Bishop of Birmingham following his visit to the Front

September 26. Arthur Vickers, 2nd Warwicks, wins the VC at Loos

October 2. Large march past, organised by Colonel Charles Hart,  in front of the Lord Mayor as part of a national recruitment initiative

October 5. Colmore Road Council School opens as a war hospital

October 16 and 30. Birmingham City play the 17th Middlesex, the ‘footballers’ battalion

November 21. The three City Battalions cross to France

December 1. The Beeches, lent by George Cadbury, opens as an auxiliary hospital

December 30. Dr Elizabeth Impey dies in torpedo attack off Crete


1916


January. First issue of ‘The Southern Cross’, the in house journal of the 1st Southern General Hospital

January. Harborne Hall, loaned by Walter Chamberlain, opens as a VAD Auxiliary Hospital

January 1. Allerton, Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield opens as a VAD hospital

February 14. The Belgian school opens

February. The National Shell Factory at Washwood Heath begins production

April 20. 2nd Lieutenant Charles Lander, 10th Warwicks and a diarist, arrives in France

May 21. The three 2nd Line Territorials cross to France

June 3  J.R.R Tolkien and his wife Edith stay at the Plough and Harrow just before he leaves for the front

June 13. Bishop of Birmingham presides over a memorial service for Lord Kitchener at the 1st Southern General Hospital

July 1. Death of Lt R.Q Gilson, son of the headmaster of King Edward’s

July 1. Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Innes, CO of the 1/8 Warwicks, killed

July 1. Captain Stratford Ludlow, 1/8th Warwicks, killed on the Somme

July 1.Second Lieutenant Henry Lionel Field, 1/6th Warwicks, killed on the Somme

July 3. Moor Green House opened as an auxiliary hospital

July 3. Death of Captain Henry Lynn Shaw, city councillor, in the 10th Warwicks on the Somme

July 3. George Turrall wins the VC in the 10th Worcs at La Boiselle

July 19. Death of Lance Sergeant Horace Hadley – first Quinton man

July 22. Percy Jeeves, the Warwickshire cricketer, 15th Royal Warwicks, killed on the Somme

July 22. Private A.G Earp, 1/5th Warwicks, shot at dawn

July 27. Albert Gill, 1/Kings Royal Rifle Corps, wins the VC at Delville Wood

July 28. Major Buckley, 17th Middlesex, the Footballers Battalion, wounded on the Somme and was later treated at the 1st Southern General Hospital

August 7. Private Tommy Barber seriously wounded on the Somme in the Footballers’ Battalion. He had previously played for Aston Villa

August 8. Private William Gerrish killed on the Somme in the Footballer’s Battalion. He had previously played for Aston Villa

August 23.The Municipal Bank scheme became law

September 29. First branch of the Municipal Bank opened in Edmund Street

October. William Chamberlain and Alfred Barrett Brown, members of the national committee of the No Conscription Fellowship, appear before the Birmingham Tribunal

October 7. Bishop of Birmingham blessed the street shrine on the wall of St Gabriel’s, Digbeth, and then did the same at eight more in the same parish

November 9. An ill J.R.R Tolkien enters the First Southern General Hospital with trench fever

November 11. The Bishop of Birmingham unveils a war shrine on the wall of St Mary’s, Aston Brook

November 22. Monyhull war hospital opened

December 7. Uffculme receives its first patients as an auxiliary hospital


1917


January 1. Major Townsend, associated with Newburys, 1/8th Warwicks awarded the DSO

January 9. Death of the Hon.Richard Orlando Beaconsfield Bridgeman in East Africa

January 25. Robert Phillips, 9th Warwicks, wins the VC in Mesopotamia

February 22. Private Charles Vigurs,11th Warwicks, the Olympic gymnast, is killed near Loos

April 22. Death of Lance Corporal Walter Kimberley, former Aston Villa player, who had been part of a POW exchange

May 19. Princess Louise visits the 1st Southern General Hospital

May 19. Private Samuel Cunnington, Royal Warwicks, is shot at dawn

June 1. The Dudley Road Section of the 1st Southern General becomes independent as the 2/1st Southern General Hospital

June 6. Moor Green House opened as an auxiliary hospital for officers having already been a more general hospital

June 13. Council House ceremony to commemorate Lieutenant Colonel Innes and Major Caddick, 1/8Th Warwicks, killed on the first day of the Somme

July 31. Death of Captain Thomas Barnsley son of Brigadier General Sir John Barnsley

August 8. Charles Bonner wins the VC as an officer on a ‘Q’ ship in the Bay of Biscay. He had attended Bishop Vesey Grammar School

August 16. Death of Second Lieutenant Bernard Long, son of Superintendent Bernard Long

August 22. Several Brummies are drowned on Blyth Sands when part of the 5th Reserve Battalion of the Warwicks

September 20. Serjeant Alfred Knight wins VC in the Ypres Salient whilst serving in the 2/8th Post Office Rifles

October 6. The Hollies, Four Oaks Road, Sutton Coldfield, opens as a VAD hospital

October 14. Duke of Connaught inspects airmen and other volunteers in Cannon Hill Park

October 19. Zeppelin L42 dropped a bomb on the Longbridge works

October 27. Serjeant Herbert Shillcock dies of wounds. His father ran the famous sports outfitters

November 20. Death of 2nd Lieutenant Henry Forge, son of the Vicar of Walmley

December 1. Norman Chamberlain killed at Cambrai in the 1/Grenadier Guards; he was the cousin of Neville Chamberlain and a city councillor

December 5. Lieutenant Leysters Llewellyn Greener MC, Royal Warwicks, killed

December 31-January 5. 1918 Tank Bank Week in Victoria Square


1918


January 1.Hollymoor renamed the Birmingham Special Military Surgical Hospital

January 1. Birmingham Food Control Committee had been given permission to introduce a scheme of rationing which went into operation that day

February 17. Kees Boeke, husband of Beatrice Cadbury, is deported under emergency regulations

February 26. Matron Katy Beaufoy and Sister Rose Kendall are killed when the HS Clenart Castle is torpedoed off the North Devon coast

March. Brigadier General Walter Ludlow visits the Somme to try to find his son’s grave

March 4-9. Dreadnought Week in Victoria Square

March 9. Private William John Billington of Handsworth is killed in Palestine. William Cross later presented the War Poetry Collection to the Library in his memory

March 29. Henry Dobson killed – only current Villa player to die in the war

March 30. Alan Jerrard wins the VC in Italy whilst serving in the RFC

April 12/13. A Zeppelin raid passes over Hall Green and Shirley and drops bombs

April 16. Second Lieutenant Thomas Silver killed whilst serving in the RGA south of Ypres. He was a city councillor

April 22. Serjeant Norman Finch wins VC whilst serving in the Royal Marine Artillery at Zeebrugge

May. Lieutenant Commander Arthur Langley is appointed to command the Stratford, London, RNAS experimental station

May 23. Trial of Harrison Barrow of the Friends Service Committee in London for breaches in the Defence of the Realm Act; he was sent to prison for six month

May 29. Anti-German protest against Charles Laubenburg at a Vestry meeting at St Margaret’s, Olton

June 8. 8000 spectators watch a baseball match at Villa Park between the Americans and the Canadians

July 25. Embargo strike in the munitions industry

July 26. Death of Mick Mannock VC, the air ace

August 6. Edgar Cadbury pilots a plane over the North Sea which shot down the zeppelin L70 in the last raid of the war

August 15. First day when Captain Arthur Impey, 79th Brigade, RFA, starts his diary of the last phase of the war

August 19. A Handley Page 0/400 bomber crashes at Maxstoke after flying from Castle Bromwich aerodrome; the RAF’s worst disaster of the war

August 22. George Onions wins the VC at Achiet-le-Petit whilst serving in the 1/Devons

August 24. Death of Eveline Shaw of FANY dies of illness whilst serving in the French Red Cross

August 25. Serjeant Harold Colley wins the VC at Martinpuich on the Somme whilst serving in the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers

September 10. Uffculme begins to specialise in the rehabilitation of limbless soldiers

September 12. Alfred Wilcox wins the VC near Laventie

September 21. Win the War Day. Presentation to Norman Finch VC in Cannon Hill Park

September 28. Maurice Pollack killed in Palestine, the famous child actor

October 21-26. Big Guns Week in Victoria Square

October 28. Charity matinee at the Theatre Royal raises £6200 for the Lady Mayoress’ POW Fund

November 4 William Amey wins the VC at Landrecies whilst serving in the 1/8th Warwicks

November 4. James Neville Marshall wins the VC at Ors whilst commanding the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers. He is killed that day

November 4. Arnold Waters wins the VC of the Royal Engineers is killed at the Sambre-Oise Canal

November 8. Death of Lt Commander Arthur Lane, son of the squire of Kings Norton

November 11. News of the Armistice arrives at 10.36 a.m. and celebrations begin


1919


January. Farewell gathering for Flemings and Walloons in the Town Hall

April. Lieutenant Eustace Hill whilst serving on HMS Marlborough helps evacuate the survivors of the Russian royal family from the coast near Yalta

April 21. Barr Beacon, given by Colonel John Wilkinson, opened to the public as a memorial to those killed in local regiments

November 6. Sister Adelaide Bottril, TFNS, receives the Royal Red Cross medal (2nd class). She is named on the Poor Law Guardians memorial


1920


November 11. The 1/8th Royal Warwicks memorial in Aston churchyard is unveiled


1921


Publication of ‘Birmingham and the Great War 1914-1919’ by Reginald Brazier and Ernest Sandford

October 19. Mayor of Sutton unveils the Boldmere Swimming Club memorial

October 21. On Nelson Day the ensign flown by HMS Birmingham during the war was presented to the City


1922


June 3. Foundation stone of Castle Bromwich Victory Hall laid by the Countess of Bradford

October 1. Mitchells and Butler memorial at Cape Hill unveiled

November 1. Sutton Coldfield war memorial unveiled


1923


June 12. Prince of Wales lays foundation stone of the Hall of Memory


1925


July 4. Prince Arthur of Connaught opens the Hall of Memory 


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