In Memory of those killed in 1918
The following articles by Edwina Rees tell the stories of men killed in 1918 and commemorated on the St Mary’s Church war memorial.
1. Captain Reverend James Leitch Cappell – James was the youngest son of Thomas Cappell, who served for twenty-one years with the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment and was part of the relief of Lucknow in 1857 under Sir Henry Havelock. James, a curate at St Mary’s Church, Moseley from 1912, enlisted in 1915 as a Chaplain 4th Class and was based at the 1st Southern Cross Military Hospital at Dudley Road. In March 1916 he was selected for duty with the BEF and as part of the Army Chaplain’s Department was attached to the 1/9 Royal Scots. He was wounded in September 1917 and spent Christmas at home with his wife and son at 40 Forest Road, Moseley. Back in the field in January he contracted dysentery and died of pneumonia on 23rd January at Hospital in Le Havre.
2. Private Frederick Arthur Woodcock – Frederick was an only child. He was one of the first to sign up in the 1st Birmingham Pals Battalion on 8th September 1914. He served throughout the war until he was taken ill and died from a disorder of the heart at a hospital in Sheffield on 3rd February 1918. He is buried in Brandwood End Cemetery.
3. Second Lieutenant Francis Claude Uzzell – Francis worked for the National Provincial Bank in Birmingham. He enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment in 1915. In May 1916 he was wounded in action and returned to England. On recovery, he returned to France as a 2nd Lieutenant with 2/5 Royal Warwickshire Regiment. On 1st February 1918 near Arras, Francis was wounded in action and died two days later at Ham Clearing Station.
4. Second Lieutenant Harold Welford Sheffield – Harold joined the Royal Military College at Sandhurst when he left school in 1915. During the course of 1916/1917, he was twice injured and returned to England to recover. In January 1918 he returned to France but was killed on 23rd March when the Germans overran the British Lines in the Arras area in what was known as Operation Michael. His body was never found.
5. Second Lieutenant Robert Stanley Thomas MC – Thomas was a chorister at St Mary’s Church, Moseley. In 1915 he enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers. On 1st December 1916, he was accepted for Officer Training at Balliol College, Oxford. In May 1917 he went to France as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 4th Battalion Worcester Regiment and became their Intelligence Officer. In March 1918 when the Battalion was in Ypres, Robert was killed by German artillery in an unlucky strike on the Battalion HQ, at Pill Box 83, on 24th March. He was posthumously awarded the MC on 3rd June 1918.
6. Gunner Herbert Leslie Tomlinson – During his time in France, Herbert was twice gassed and wounded. He was killed when the German’s bombed the British Hospital at St Omer on 22nd May 1918 where he was a patient at the time.
7. Private George Herbert Potter – George had been in France for just six weeks when he was killed in action. His regiment, 1st Gordon Highlanders, was involved in an attack to stem the tide of the German Spring Offensive near Bethune on 14th June.
8. Rifleman Stanley Alfred Augustus Marriott – Stanley was underage when he enlisted. He died from wounds on 23rd July 1918, aged nineteen. His regiment, 6th London, was in the process of being relieved by an American infantry regiment (part of the Illinois Army National Guard) on the front line near Albert when he was wounded.
9. Private George Watson Page – George left King Edward VI Grammar School Camp Hill in 1914 and joined the General Electric Co Ltd at its London HQ. He joined the 15th (Service) Battalion Hampshire Regiment based near Ypres in Spring 1918. He died from wounds at a clearing station in Esquelbeck in France near the Belgium border on 31st July 1918. He was nineteen years old.