R S (Richard Samuel Nowell) NOWELL
Rank: Private
Number: 8446
Unit: 2nd Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Date of Death: 29 November 1918
Cemetery: Berlin South-western Cemetery, Germany

The name of R S Nowell is inscribed on the Stockport War Memorial. No evidence has been discovered which would positively identify him although, with the uncommon surname, it is probable that it is the man listed above. Other information tends to confirm his identity.

The family history website, FreeBMD, notes the birth in the Manchester area of Richard Samuel Nowell in 1886. Fifteen years later, when the Census was taken, a boy named Samuel Nowell, then aged 15, was living at 16 York Street, Shaw Heath, Stockport. This boy had been born in the Gorton area of Manchester.

Living at York Street were 43 year old John Nowell, his wife Emily, and their six children - Arthur (then 20), Samuel (15), Elizabeth, (13), William (7), Brenda (5) and John (1). Samuel was working as a leather dyer.

Another family history website, CheshireBMD, records that Richard Samuel Nowell married Catherine Kenny at Christ Church, Heaton Norris in 1908.

The final piece of identification comes from Regimental records published after the War and now available on the CD-ROM "Soldiers Died in the Great War". The record for Samuel Nowell who died on 29 November shows that he enlisted at Stockport.

Although the evidence is circumstantial, it is significant and it is reasonable to assume that all these references are to one man. This soldier's service number is early and it is likely that he was either a regular soldier or an ex-regular who was still on the reserve and was recalled to the colours when War was declared.

Samuel Nowell's death was from natural causes - very possibly as a result of the influenza pandemic which claimed millions of lives world-wide in the autumn of 1918. His burial at Berlin confirms he must have died as a prisoner of war. No further details have been established.

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