WELLS, John James Francis

No. 606225, Private, John James Francis WELLS
Aged 41

68th Prisoner of War Coy, Labour Corps
formerly No.201776, Private, 1st/4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly No.5055, Suffolk Regiment
Died of Illness on Thursday, 28th November 1919

John James Francis Wells was born 1877 in Whepstead (Thetford Q2-1877 4B:540), baptised in St Petronilla, Whepstead on 1st June 1879, son of James Francis and Alice WELLS (née CAWLEY)

1881 census...Aged 4, he was at Elveden Road, Barnham with his father James WELLS [38] labourer born Whepsterasd; his mother Alice [31] born Bury St Edmunds; half brother Edward CAWLEY [8] born Leeds. Yorkshire.

1891 census...Aged 14, a ropemaker, he was at 12 Ford Street, Hunslet, Leeds with his father James WELLS [47] labourer, born Whepstead; his mother Alice [51] born Bury St Edmunds; brother James [10] born Barnham.

1901 census...he has not been identified in this census. His parents (mother now recorded as born Ixworth) and brother James (gardener's labourer) were at Barnham Road, Elveden.

He married Sarah Ann COATES [16-5-1869] on 27th March 1909 (Thetford Q1-1909 4B:555)

1911 census...Aged 34, a lawnman, he was at Aberfergwn Lodge, GlynNeath, Glamorgan with his wife Sarah [41]born Thetford. At Barnham Lodge, Elveden were his parents brother James and a cousin Mabel Alice CAWLEY [5] born Castleacre, Norfolk

His widow was later at the Old Rectory, Elveden with an adopted daughter Alice Mabel CAWLEY. His younger brother James Francis Wells died in France in June 1918. see here

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.

He died at 46 Stationary Hospital, Etaples, France. The 68th PoW Company, Labour Corps were stationed in Etaples, but these units moved around a lot. John fell prey to the influenza pandemic that spread around Europe at the end of the war.

The war may well have ended 17 days earlier, but on 28th there were still 193 men died in Europe, a further 165 in United Kingdom

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

John Wells is is buried in Etaples British Cemetery, L I:D:79
and also commemorated on the Weather Heath Memorial (Elveden Column by the A11)

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details