Sergeant Wilfred Sewell
Born. Hunslet, Leeds, 18/11/1882.
Died of wounds, 8/7/1916 Netley, Southampton, Aged 34.
Wilfred Sewell was the son of Robert and Alice Sewell of Hunslet, Leeds. After leaving school he enlisted as a Bandsman with the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment (West Riding) and after twelve years service as a regular soldier (which included fighting on the infamous North West Frontier), left the Army to take a position with the Tramways department of Leeds City Council.
He married his sweetheart, Maude Elsie Roberts on 29/3/1913 and on the outbreak of war was living with his wife and newly born son, (a daughter Mildred was born in 1915) at 24, Newbawn Cottages, Farnley.
When the Pals battalion was raised he immediately volunteered to join them, ex soldiers of his service and experience were desperately needed by this new untrained battalion hence his immediate promotion to Sergeant with 16 platoon, D company.
He served with the Pals and fellow Farnley "Pals" John Doughty, Willie Rudkin, John Hill, Arthur Jackson and William McNeil in Colsterdale, Egypt and France.
On the 1st of July when the Pals attacked the German lines at Serre, Wilfred was severely wounded and evacuated to Netley Hospital, Southampton. He died of his wounds on 8/7/1916.
Yorkshire Evening Post 10/7/1916:
"Sergeant Wilfred Sewell, Leeds Pals who before the war had served for twelve years with the colours has been severely wounded in the big advance and is an inmate of Netley Hospital, before the war he was in India with the Duke of Wellingtons West Riding Regiment."
Armley and Wortley News 14/7/1916:
"Sergeant Sewell, whose wife and children live at New Bawn Farnley, has died at Netley Hospital from gunshot wounds to the head and right thigh, he was 34 years of age, the body which as been brought to Leeds is to be interred at Woodhouse hill cemetery, Hunslet".
Wilfred Sewell is buried in Woodhouse Hill Cemetery, Hunslet, Leeds. He is also commemorated on the Farnley War Memorial.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission did not allow any repatriation of casualties for burial, however if they died in the UK the family could choose the site of burial plus a choice of civilian or military headstone.