Lance Corporal Stanley James Southwood, 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry
Stanley James Southwood was born in April 1896, the eldest son of John and Florence Rebecca. In 1901 the family lived in 142 Mount Terrace, Mount Street, and John worked as a general labourer. Stanley had two siblings, both sisters. In 1911 the family had moved to 5 Court, Penel Orleiu. Stanley was working as a barrow loader in a brickyard and had two more sisters and a younger brother.
Sometime before the war Stanley joined the army in the Somerset Light Infantry and served in the Mons campaign. On 30 September 1914 the Bridgwater Mercury reported that he had been wounded on the 26 August. On 4 November 1914 the Mercury printed a letter of Lance Corporal J Anglin to his mother. Anglin was attached to A Company Somerset Light Infantry and had gone to France with the first British Expeditionary Force. He gave a detailed account of his experiences at the Battle of Mons and mentioned how 'Stan' , Lance Corporal Southwood had been wounded and that the two men had enlisted together a year or so ago. On 11 November 1914 the Mercury reported that Stanley had been captured by the Germans and printed some extracts from a letter he had sent to his mother. Southwood remained a PoW for the rest of the war.
Throughout the war the Mercury reported various instances of Stanley writing to thank various folk for sending food parcels. One on 27 January 1915 Southwood sent to his wife acknowledging receipt of her parcel. On 8 September 1915, letters of thanks were received by Mr Erwin Bryant an Eastover baker who had sent abroad loaves of long life bread from, among others, Southwood imprisoned in Doeberitz. At the end of the war Stanley was released and he returned to his career in the army.
He died in Britain on 8 September 1919, although the cause of death is not recorded.
Each of the war stories on our website have been updated in our book, Bridgwater and the First World War.