Cyril Edward Elliott Wells

Captain 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment

1885 - 1915

Laid to rest: Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Heuvelland, West Vlaanderen, Belgium (Grave L.6)

Born in Sotwell 2nd October 1885 he was killed in action 10 March 1915 at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, aged 29. He is remembered on his brother, Leslie’s, war grave headstone in St James’ churchyard.

Second son of William John Howard and Phoebe Wells of Elmleigh, Sotwell Cyril Edward served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Ireland in 1907, the regiment being disbanded a few years later. He was then in the Wiltshire Regiment at Devizes followed by the King’s Own (Liverpool). Finally the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the East Surrey Regiment. Serving in India, he was promoted to lieutenancy in June 1910. He was stationed in Burma for three years before returning to India for a short time as commandant of Fort Jhansi. Upon being recalled from India he was in England for only two or three days before leaving for the front. The local paper reported ‘His colonel writes of him as being much loved by the men, with whom he identified himself in every possible way and who deplore his death very keenly… Lieut C E E Wells who fell at the battle of Neuve Chapelle, had been raised to the rank of Captain a few hours before, but too late for the news to reach him.’ Cyril’s father William, also born in Brightwell, was a retired farmer.