Southam in WW1

Centenary Archive

Honouring those who died and all who served


Private Joseph Fennell (437203)

Joseph was with the Territorial Force, 1st/2nd South Midlands Field Ambulance, part of the RAMC serving in Italy, when he died. Born in Southam in 1885, he lived in Coventry Street and like his father he was a labourer at the cement works. He married Annie Amelia a local girl and they moved to Bordesley Green in Birmingham.

At the time of his death he was serving with 70th Field Ambulance at the field hospital in Trevignano, Italy. No details of the deaths of patients or of staff are given in the war diaries but it does recount that on 26th December 1917 a medical board for 28 men took place, and later a Christmas Dinner and evening entertainment by the Divisional Concert Party. Whether Joseph Fennell could appreciate these festivities is questionable for he was suffering from pneumonia.

Two days later on 28th December Capt. J.P. Cole wrote in his report: ‘There is a great deal of difficulty in getting supplies and dressings’. Joseph died that day. The medical supplies arrived two days later.

Private Joseph Fennell is buried in the Main Cemetery in Padua in one of twenty-five graves looked after by the CWGC .

Fennell is a wide-spread surname around Southam and others of that name, known to have served, are Bombardier Henry Fennell R.F.A. who also was in the Boer War, and his brother Harry Fennell who by 1918 was serving in Egypt. Both are brothers of Private Alfred Fennell. (Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser 13th April 1917)