Barwell, Lewis John

Day 1389. Hull Pals Memorial Post. PRIVATE LEWIS JOHN BARWELL 34776. Brace yourselves as this is a sad one with a horrific ending so look away now if you’re predisposed to nightmares.
Lewis was born on 11th October 1879 in Ram Yard, Parliament Street, Nottingham. He was one of six children to Samuel and Johanna Barwell of 21 Draper Street, Grimethorpe.
His father was a Blacksmith.
When Lewis hit his teens he became something of a tearaway and was arrested in November 1891 for sleeping rough, and again a month later for stealing oysters for which he received twelve strokes of the birch. Advocates of bringing back corporal punishment may like to note that he was arrested again in January 1892 for sleeping out and was sent to Truant School, before being arrested again the following June for stealing chocolate, when he was again given twelve strokes of the birch. It didn’t work.
On 29th December 1893 Lewis was arrested by Sergeant Barber and Lieutenant Dixon of the local police and sent to a House of Correction for 21 days. Apparently his sweet tooth got the better of him once more:
“The boy and his companions stole a bottle of sweets from a shop counter during the temporary absence of the attendant.”
Nevertheless, Lewis made it to adulthood without further problems and married Sarah Coulson at Parish Church, Brightside, Sheffield on 13th April 1914. They moved to 19 Draper Street, Grimethorpe, but their married life was shortlived.
When war came Lewis left both Sarah and his job as a labourer, and enlisted in Sheffield, originally as 3/21504 in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry before transferring to the 12th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, 3rd Hull Pals, once in France.
And this is where it gets dark. He was wounded on the Somme 15th November 1916 and withdrawn to the Military Hospital at Edmonton in England.
His awful end is there in the military medical records dated 23rd November.
“(Patient had) perforating flesh wounds on both thighs. Condition was septic. Wounds enlarged and drained. Patient developed gas gangrene. Quinine Hydroxide employed. Unsuccessful. Amputations valueless owing to positions of wounds. Patient became comatose and died from toxemia of gangrene.”
Lewis John Barwell was 32 years old.

First name:
Military Number:
Date Died
Place died:
Grimesthorpe (Or Brightside) (St. Thomas) Churchyard