WHY do businesses change their names? Sometimes for a very good reason.

Alfred Kerwood established the Redditch law firm bearing his family name in 1880 and was proud to change it to Alfred Kerwood & Sons when his two sons Lionel and Malcolm came to work in the practice after qualifying.

Lionel Kerwood was born in 1886 and lived with Mr and Mrs Alfred Kerwood at their home in Watling House, Barnt Green.

He was educated at Lickey School and Malvern College where he served with the school cadet corps.

At the age of 16 Lionel joined a firm of solicitors in London and, on passing his final examinations, joined his father’s practice, Alfred Kerwood & Sons, in Redditch.

His interest in military matters continued and he was commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant with “H” Company of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of The Worcestershire Regiment at Redditch on October 22, 1904.

He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1908 and transferred to the 8th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment, on the formation of the Territorial Force.

He received his Captaincy on July 18, 1909, and helped to raise “F” Company of the 8th Worcesters at Kings Norton.

In March 1913 Lionel Kerwood married Edna Sheldon, daughter of Mr and Mrs John Sheldon of Barnt Green.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Captain Kerwood was still commanding “F” Company.

He disembarked at Boulogne on March 31, 1915, with the 1/8th Battalion.

He was promoted to Major at the front and became Second-in-Command of the 1/8th Worcesters.

Sadly he was killed on October 21, 1916, while in temporary command of the 13th (Service) Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment, when the unit made a successful assault on Regina Trench, which ran north of Courcelette, in which the battalion captured around 250 prisoners.

Major Lionel Kerwood has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

He is also remembered on the Lickey memorial.

Malcolm Kerwood was the brother of Lionel Kerwood. He was also a solicitor and worked with his father at the family practice in Redditch.

He was commissioned as a Supernumerary Second-Lieutenant Second-Lieutentnat in the 8th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment, on November 10, 1909, being restored to the establishment on June 22, 1910.

He was promoted to Lieutenant on March 12, 1913, and joined “H” Company in Redditch.

On the outbreak of war he was embodied and went to France with his brother an d the 1/8th Worcesters on March 31, 1915.

Malcolm Kerwood was appointed as a Temporary Captain on June 10, 1915.

He was out on patrol in front of the 1/8th Worcester’s position in the Douve Valley below Messines on the night of June 24-25, 1915, when he was shot twice, in the head and the chest, and killed.

His body was recovered by a party lead by Lieutenant Kenneth Macnaughten Mylne, the son of Bishop Mylne, the Rector of Alvechurch, and taken to Bailleul, where he was buried with full military honours.

Like his brother Lionel, Malcolm Kerwood is also commemorated on the Lickey memorial.

Kerwoods partner Jan Thompson said: “It is fitting that we should remember our founder and the sacrifices the Kerwood family made in 1915 and 1916.

“In this instance, there was a very sad and poignant reason why the firm’s name changed to Kerwood & Co after the Great War and we are always mindful of that.

“As a firm, we are very proud of our heritage in Redditch and the service we have given to the town and Worcestershire for 145 years.

“And the sacrifices made by Mr and Mrs Alfred Kerwood should be remembered 100 years on and beyond,” she said.