SOMME DIARY of WILFRED SEWELL

by Stephen Keene


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Wilfred Sewell, born in Leeds, on the 18th November 1884, was my Grandfather.  He joined the Army as a Bandsman (he played the clarinet ) and served in India as a young man.  He left the Army to return to his native Leeds where he worked for Leeds Corporation on the buses.

He married my Grandmother, Maud Roberts, on 29th March 1913 and his first child, Ivan Robert, was born on 4th February 1913.

On 9th May 1915, his second child, Mildred Braithwaite, was born. She was my mother. She is the baby in the photograph.

Braithwaite was an old family name which had died out in the Leeds area due to the last male descendent falling to his death, just before his 21st birthday, from the newly erected steeple of Christ Church.  (The old family story has it that his birthday tea was used for his funeral!)

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Wilfred volunteered and as an experienced soldier soon made the rank of Sergeant.  He was involved in the training of the hundreds of men, young and not so young, who volunteered for the "Leeds Pals", the 16th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment.