Henry Cawley was born in September 1871, one of eight children to John and Ann Cawley. John worked as a blacksmith in the village of Corfe, near Taunton, Somerset, but when Henry left school, he found work as a butcher’s assistant in Bristol.
Henry disappears from the radar for a while. John died in 1884, but the next information available for his son comes in the form of his war medals. This confirms that he enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry in the summer of 1915, and that he was assigned to the depots as a Private. He was awarded the Victory and British Medals, as well as the 1915 Star, but then fell ill early in 1916.
Private Cawley was medically evacuated back to England, and was admitted to a sanatorium in Taunton. Sadly, whatever illness he contracted, he succumbed to, and he passed away on 21st February 1916, at the age of 45 years old.
Henry Cawley was laid to rest in St James’ Cemetery in Taunton.
Henry’s war pension was given to his mother, Ann. After her husband’s death, she continued to live in Corfe and, based on the available information, lived into her 80s.