First son of William John Howard and Phoebe Wells of Elmleigh, Sotwell Leslie, elder brother of Cyril Edward Elliott Wells who was killed just a few weeks earlier, ‘…had only been in the trenches one day when the Germans foully ejected a quantity of gas from cylinders in their trenches...’ Berkshire & Oxon Advertiser 7 May 1915.
He died in Boulogne and his father had his body brought back to Sotwell for burial at St James’.
“…brought across the channel on Friday morning and met at Didcot...the same evening and conveyed to the Parish Church to await internment. Precisely at the appointed time the mourners entered the church…scarcely a house in either parish being unrepresented, business of all kinds and work in the fields being stopped for the time being. A number of Somerset Territorials who were guarding the railway at Cholsey, formed the firing party. The service was taken by the Rector (Rev. H.A. Sealy)….Mr Arthur Holloway presiding at the harmonium…The scene at the graveside was most impressive. At the very least 300 people were gathered around it……and when the Territorials fired their well-timed volleys over the flower-decked grave, and as the weird notes of “The Last Post” were sounded by the bugler, old as well as young were overcome, and tears were freely shed all round.” (Berkshire & Oxon Advertiser 14 May 1915)