61698 PTE. C. SEED. NORTHUMB.FUS.
Cornelius Seed was born on 18 February 1893 in Bamber Bridge and baptised at St Saviour’s on 9 April. His father was Cornelius Seed (b. 1863 in Bamber Bridge), an insurance agent. His mother was Elizabeth Sedgwick (b. 1863 in Blackburn). Elizabeth and Cornelius were married in 1887 and they had four children, losing two in infancy, leaving Cornelius and his older sister Sarah Ellen (b. 1891). In 1911, the four of them were living at 3 Nelson Street, Bamber Bridge. Cornelius jnr was a cardroom hand in a cotton mill.
Cornelius first enlisted in Preston on 14 November 1914. He wanted to join the Scots Guards and was assigned service number 12084. However, when he underwent his medical examination he was judged unfit for army service and discharged – no reason is specified. Whatever the reason for his initial discharge, he persisted and later enlisted with the Northumberland Fusiliers. He was assigned service number 61698 and posted first to 1/5th Battalion. He was later transferred to 8th Battalion. At the end of 1917, he also got married – to Alice Arkwright (b. 1895 in Walton Le Dale). I don’t know at what point he was transferred between battalions but we can assume he was with 8Bn in 1918.
8Bn came under orders of 34th Brigade in 11th (Northern) Division. They had not seen much action in the first part of the year, but in August and September they were heavily involved as the First and Third Armies launched their attack from Arras towards the German Drocourt-Quéant Line – the Battle of the Scarpe (26-30 August), and the Battle of Drocourt-Quéant (2-3 September). They then fought as the Hindenburg Line was broken at the Battle of the Canal du Nord (27 September – 1 October) and moved on to occupy Cambrai (10 October). It was around this time that Cornelius was shot in the leg and stranded for 48 hours in No Man’s Land before he could be recovered from the battlefield and taken to hospital. There, his injured leg was amputated but he suffered a relapse and died in hospital at Étaples. He was 25 years old. His wife Alice did not survive him by long; she died in 1925 aged 30.
Service Number: 61698
Date of Death: 14 October 1918
Regiment/Service: Northumberland Fusiliers, 8th Bn
Cemetery/memorial reference: LXVII. J. 35.
Cemetery: ÉTAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY
Additonal Information: Husband of Alice Seed, of 98 Station Road, Bamber Bridge, Lancs. Native of Bamber Bridge.