Following our posting asking for assistance on tracing various local men, a couple of people got in touch with us about this man.
He was listed in the Wolverhampton Roll of Remembrance as Alfred Valentine Cardwell, a Private in the 7th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. However, it turns out that his surname was actually Cordwell.
The son of William and Caroline Cordwell, he was born in Wolverhampton in 1895, and baptised on 14 February 1895 at St Paul’s Church, Wolverhampton. In 1901 (when the surname is also recorded as “Cardwell”), they were living at 60 Baker Street along with Alfred’s brother Frederick and step-sister Nettie Gates. Alfred’s parents had both been married before. William’s first wife, Selina, died in 1890, and he married Caroline in 1893. In 1911 they were at the same address (although the surname was now “Cordwell”). By this date, Alfred had become a cabinet maker.
Alfred’s medal card gives his service number as 10123. He first served in the Balkans from 21 July 1915. He was killed in action on 1 September 1915 at Gallipoli. However, according to the Register of Soldier’s Effects, the date of his death was cross out and replaced with 30 August 1915, and death place noted as the Dardanelles. All other sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, state his date of death as 1 September. His effects were distributed equally between his mother, Caroline, and a Miss Ivy Rebecca Rhodes (later Bowen). He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, as well as on the St Paul’s Church war memorial, within St John’s Church.