Stanley James Southwood was born in 1896, the oldest of six children to John and Florence Southwood from Bridgwater, Somerset. John was a labourer and ship’s mate, while Stanley, who was the only boy in the family, started work loading barrows in a brickyard.
Military life was pulling Stanley, however. According to another researcher, he enlisted in the Special Reserves of the Somerset Light Infantry in October 1912. Six months later he joined the regular army, and was there when the war began.
While I have not been able to corroborate this information, it appears that Southwood was reported missing on 11th September 1915, after being wounded in the chest. He was taken prisoner of war, and, while being held, he developed tuberculosis in both lungs.
After his release (no documents confirm when this was) he was discharged from the army as medically fit to continue. He was in a military hospital at the time – the beginning of November 1918 – suffering from tuberculosis, which had been exacerbated by the chest wound he had received three years earlier. At the time he was discharged, he had the rank of Lance Corporal.
Sadly, it seems that Stanley never fully recovered from his wartime experience. He died on 8th September 1919 from consumption (tuberculosis), aged just 23 years old.
Stanley James Southwood lies at rest in the Wembdon Road Cemetery in his home town of Bridgwater in Somerset.