Image from 1919 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper.



Born: 1898, Ipswich.

Died: 4th December 1918; age 20 – Died of Pneumonia at 21st General Hospital, Alexandria.

Residence: 45, Bulwer Road, Ipswich.

Employed: Messrs. Wrinch’s Foundry.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.

Date of Entry Therein: 17th November 1915 – France.


Rank: Shoeing Smith; Service Number: 885195

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery, ‘C’ Battery, 261st Brigade, (T.F).


Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.


Grave Reference:


Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery,





1901   39, York Road, Ipswich.


James was 3 years old and living with his mother & siblings.

Edith Emma Cowdell (nee Flegg), 35, a Corset Maker – at home, born Ipswich.

Elizabeth Cowdell, 14, a Tailoress, born Ipswich.

Harry Cowdell, 11, born Ipswich.

Edith Helens Cowdell, 8, born Ipswich.

1 nurse child.


1911   26, White Elm Street, Ipswich.


James was 13 years old and living with his widowed mother & siblings.

Edith, 45.

Elizabeth, a Corset Machinist.

Hary, 21, a Plumber’s Mate.

Edith, 18, a Printer’s Machinist.

Sidney Cowdell, 8, born Ipswich.

Halty Ella Cowdell, 5, born Ipswich.


In 1899, James’s father, Frederick Cowdell deserted his wife and children. Edith was never aware of Frederick’s whereabouts. At Christmas 1901, Frederick return home. He soon left once again and was at sea, only returning home at intervals. Edith applied for relief because of Frederick’s desertion, but the Guardians declined to grant the family any help, stating that Edith kept Frederick’s name on the rates books, and she had stated that her husband made her allowances from time to time. 


James’s father Frederick Cowdell, born 1863, Woolwich, Kent – died November 1908, St. Olave, Bermondsey, London.


Evening Star – 16th December 1908



Dr. F.J. Waldo held an inquiry at Southwark on Tuesday on the body of Frederick Cowdell, age 45, an engineer on the S.S. ‘Constance,’ belonging to Messrs. Henry Leatham and Sons, Ltd., of York, who was found drowned in the Thames Friday 11th December.

Tod Cowdell, a schoolmaster, of St. Mark’s Schools, Grove Road, Holloway, identified the deceased as his brother, whom he had not seen for four years. He was able to identify the deceased by his thumb, which was mutilated, and he had several tattoo marks on his body. On his knees were tattooed a man’s face and a jockey’s cap. His brother had never threatened suicide. The Coroner said he had received a letter from the deceased man’s wife, Edith Cowdell, who lived at Rendlesham Road, Ipswich, in which she said they had been in poor circumstances, and owed rent. Other evidence showed that the deceased left his boat in London a few weeks ago, and nothing more was seen of him until his body was found in the Thames off St. Olaves’ Wharf, Bermondsey. The body had been in the water about three weeks, and death was due to asphyxia by drowning.

A verdict of “Found Drowned” was returned.


Soldiers’ Effects to Edith E. Cowdell – mother.

Royal Field Artillery, ‘C’ Battery, 261st Brigade:

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