A tribute to our

Wellow War Heroes

A 32 page booklet has been carefully researched and written to pay tribute to all those soldiers who lost their lives during the two World Wars. However, we also list all those who left from Wellow to fight in the wars. 
As an addition we also list other soldiers who served in the armed forces during the preceding century.

To obtain a copy of this booklet please send us an email and we will provide you with the payment details (£2.00 + PP)

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Picture used by permission of Richard Harpum, artist; website http://www.richardharpum.com/ or email artist@richardharpum.com

WWI Soldiers who lost their lives

Chapter One: Christopher John Caudwell

Christopher was born in Wellow in 1895 to Alfred and Sarah Caudwell. His father Alfred was also born in Wellow while his mother was born in Newark; they were married at Newark in 1882 and had eight children who were all born in Wellow: Fred, 1884; Nellie, 1885; Eliza, 1887; Amy, 1889; Alice, 1891; Christopher John, 1895; Dorothy, 1897 and Bertha Ann, 1898.

Alfred was a gardener, initially working for a private house but later went self-employed. The family lived on Potter Lane and by 1911 Christopher was learning the same trade as his father, but later became a railway engine cleaner for the Great Central Railway, based at Langwith Junction. His parents were still living in Wellow when Christopher was killed in 1915. His father died in 1920 and his mother in 1939.

Christopher was a keen cricketer and a member of the Rufford Cricket Club. He was a popular young man both on the pitch and off, and well liked around Wellow.

After the outbreak of the war, he went to Mansfield to enlist, where he joined the Royal Leicestershire Regiment (No. 13475) but was soon transferred to 2nd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment (No. 13968).  He served in France from 2nd Mar 1915.

His battalion fought in the “action of Bois Grenier”, which was an adjunct to the Battle of Loos, which aimed to capture about 1200 yards of the German front line; this was trench-to-trench warfare. Sadly, Christopher was killed-in-action on the first day of this assault, 25 Sep 1915, after significant advances had already been made.

A friend of his wrote to his parents with the news of their son’s death and said that “he was shot through the neck ... and died almost immediately”. His friend mentioned that “He died bombing the Germans and died bravely”. Hand grenades were referred to as bombs. A soldier would advance with 12 such bombs to throw into the German trenches and then return for more. As such, we can imagine that they would be a prime target for the German machine gunners or snipers.

On this occasion the bombers were having difficulties with resupply and with the rain affecting the fuses and eventually the supply of bombs gave out completely. Sadly, our forces had to retreat and relinquish all that they had initially gained, but at least Christopher would have died thinking that they were being successful.

Although Private Christopher John Caudwell has no known grave he is remembered on several memorials:

  1. The Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium (Panel 3)

  2. St Swithin’s Church, Wellow

  3. Memorial Hall, Wellow

  4. Church of the Holy Cross, Upper Langwith

  5. On his parents’ headstone in the Wellow churchyard extension.

His death was announced in:

  1. Great Central Railway Journal, Feb 1916

  2. Worksop Guardian 29 Oct 1915

  3. St Paul’s Cathedral Order of Service 1919

  4. Mansfield Reporter 26 May 1916 (as part of a cricket club article)

Christopher qualified for the 1915 Star Medal, British War Medal and Victory Medal, known as Pip, Squeak & Wilfred.

War Memorials

Our memorials list all those who joined the armed forces during the two World Wars - not only those who lost their lives.

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