Date of birth: between January and March 1888
Place of birth: Southampton
Service number: 31495 and later 36867
Regiment: Royal Berkshire
Died: 22nd September 1916 aged 30
Death location: France
Enos Alfred Southwell’s military service records have not survived. Around 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Worcester regiment (service number 31495). Nothing is known of when or why he transferred as a private to 8th (service) battalion of the Princess Charlotte of Wales Royal Berkshire regiment (service number 36867). The 8th battalion formed in September 1914 as part of the Third New Army (K3) at Reading and attached to the 26th Division and moved to Salisbury Plain. In May 1915 they moved to to Sutton Veny.
On 08.08.1915 the 8th battalion mobilised for war and landed at Le Havre and transferred to the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1914 – The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres.
During 1915 – Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Aubers, The Battle of Loos.
During 1916 – The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
Killed in action 22nd September 1916
Enos Enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment between June-December 1915 (31495) regimental number, however he transferred to the Royal Berkshire Regiment, and joined the 8th (service Battalion) 36867 regimental number.The 8th (Battalion) took part in the battle of the Somme, moving up to the line on the 14th July 1916.
In September, `D’ Company was placed at the disposal of the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers who were holding the front line/support in the region of the Flurs line/Goose alley in the region of M29d.`D’ Company supplied bombing posts in immediate touch with the enemy.
On the 22nd September the enemy had advanced from the direction of Eaucourt l`Abbaye but were beaten back, their second advance was supported by means of bombs, the morning was misty and the fog was thickened by the enormous number of `wind’ bombs,( as they were called by the men) hurled into the British trenches, they did little damage but shortly afterwards the `egg’ bombs began to arrive and the casualties increased.
(The bombs mentioned above are in modern terms called hand grenades)
The duel lasted for about an hour, the attack from the right was soon held up, that in the centre was a harder job and the losses heavier, but the Munster Fusiliers Battalion bombers gradually drove the enemy back, this was the last effort the enemy made to retake the position.
Casualty list for 8th Berkshire Regiment around this time.
Killed: Officers x 2/ Other ranks x 33
Missing : Other ranks x 20
Missing believed killed: Officer x 1
Died of wounds: x 7.
Enos was posthumously awarded the Victory medal and the British medal in recognition of his services to his country
The British War Medal was awarded for service in World War One. Also called the British Empire campaign medal, it was issued for services between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. The medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Squeak’.
The Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal was awarded to those who received the British War Medal. It was never awarded alone. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Wilfred’.
Life before the war
Enos Alfred Southwell was born in the first quarter of 1888 in Southampton, the first son to Enos Southwell (1864-1920) and Sarah Ann Blandford born in 1867 soon after their marriage in the final quarter of 1887. Their marriage was registered in Southampton vol2c page58.
They had a total of 11 children but by 1911 two had died in infancy.
The following children of Enos and Sarah Ann are confirmed from parish records:
- Enos Alfred was born in 1888.
- William John was born in 1890.
- Edward James was born in 1896.
- Ada was born in 1898. She married Albert G Kimmish in 1924
- Bertha Annie was born in 1900. She married Albert W Yockney in 1926.
- Walter Henry was born in 1902.
- Charlotte Louise was born in 1904. She married Sydney L Dunford in 1928.
- Arthur was born in 1906.
- Reginald was born in 1908.
- Lena Phyllis was born May 30th 1911. Lena married Walter George Fletcher in 1935, Walter was born in Newcastle 15th July 1910.
In 1891 the family lived at 31 Albert Street, St Marys and father Enos was employed as a coal porter.
In 1901 the family lived at 62 Andersons Terrace, St Marys. Father Enos was employed as a general labourer. Enos Alfred is not listed as any occupation aged 13.
In 1911 the family lived at 70 Albert Road. Father Enos was employed as a coal trimmer, son Enos Alfred was employed as a tailors presser:
In the first quarter of 1916 Enos Alfred Southwell married Elizabeth Janet May Roxburgh. They lived at 124 Mortimer Road, Itchen. By the end of the same year Enos Alfred had been called up and killed in action. They had no children. Elizabeth does not appear to have remarried.
Researched by Debbie Hawke Wareham March 2013.
February 2014 Thank you to Graham Fletcher – Enos’s grandson who kindly added information to his story and to Mike Yockney February 2014 who provided information with the help of members of ‘ The Great War Forum’ and the regimental diaries. 2/14.
We appreciate the input they had to help complete the story of Enos Southwell.