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This blog posting has been prepared by one of our volunteers, Ann Eales.

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A. Capewell is listed as a man who had received a medal in the Express & Star on 29th January 1918. The death of an Albert Capewell at the age of 69 was registered at Wolverhampton during the 3rd Quarter of the year 1946. He was born in 1879 in Birmingham.

These details have enabled me to trade the Military Records for an A. Capewell with a Military Medal. The records begin with “Cover for Discharge Documents” stamped “Officer in Charge of Military records 10 April 1919 Lichfield” and the details

Regimental No: 73386

Rank: Private

Name: Albert Capewell MM

Unit: 2nd Battalion

Regt or Corps: Notts and Derbyshire Regiment

Date of Discharge: 7th April 1919.

No longer fit for War Service, Address 15 St Mary’s Street, Wolverhampton.

“Army Form B.103 Casualty Form – Active”, provides further information. He originally enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 10118) on 5 August 1914. Among other things, it also has details of Capewell’s arrest and trial by “F.G.C.M.” (Field General Court Martial) and sentenced to be reduced to the ranks and forfeit 90 days pay for

  1. absenting himself without leave
  2. drunkenness
  3. when in confinement escaping

Later in the year he was wounded and admitted to hospital, eventually being transferred to England and admitted to Northumberland War Hospital.

By 1916, he had joined the 11th Sherwood Foresters and was attached to the Notts and Derby Regiment. During the course of his service, he was appointed and unpaid Lance Corporal in November 1916, and finally awarded the Military Medal in January 1918. This was noted in the Supplement to the London Gazette on 28 January 1918.

The Museum of the Mercian Regiment (encompassing the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Collection) has the following to say about the actions of the Battalion during the First World War:

In 1917, the Battalion was heavily engaged in the second Ypres Battle for Passchendaele Ridge. In November it moved with its Division to Northern Italy to asisst the Italians in their struggle against the German/Austrian offensive and won further renown for its successful stand at Asiago, where its Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel C E Hudson DSO MC was awarded the VC for outstanding bravery and leadership.

It is possible that the Battle of Asiago is also when Capewell received his Military Medal.

The 1891 census has the Capewell family living at 24 Frederick Street Heath Town Wednesfield, with Daniel the head age 42 occupation Iron Fitter, wife Ann age 39, Albert, age 14 Occupation Brick Maker, Thomas age 12, scholar, Maud age 10 also scholar, Harry age 4 also scholar, Frederick age 0 born 1891, with all members of the family born in Birmingham, except the last 2, who were born at Heath Town.

At the time of the 1901 Census the family was still living at 24 Frederick Street, and the Household Members were Daniel age 51 Occupation Fitter Electrical Works, his wife Ann age 48, no occupation shown, Albert age 23 Occupation Fitter at Electrical Works, Thos age 21 Brass Caster, Maud age 19, Brass Finisher, Wm H age 13, born Wolverhampton, George F age 11, born Wolverhampton, and Ernest S age 6, also born at Wolverhampton.

By the 1911 census form Albert Capewell, age 34, Occupation Fitter, is living at 8 St Marys Street Wolverhampton, with his wife Laura age 34, born Stourbridge, Thomas Capewell age 8, born at Wolverhampton, and Harry Gunter age 39 single a boarder also born at Wolverhampton. The couple are shown as married 10 years. His military records also state that he was married on 20 January 1903, but I have been unable to find a record of this marriage.

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