Having spent almost all of the war as a Prisoner of War, Private Cornelius Cull, 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died of pneumonia in Germany on 24th November 1918.
Apparently known as Neal, he was born in 1892 in Catherine-de-Barnes and was the sixth of the seven children of parents, Frederick William and Eliza (née Roberts) who had married at Edgbaston in 1879. Four of the children died in infancy, leaving only three sons to survive to adulthood – Frederick William Calver Cull (1883-1945), Cornelius Cull (1892-1918) and Victor Claude Cull (1888-1962).
By 1911, the three surviving children had all left home. Frederick was married and working as a bricklayer, whilst Victor was lodging in Coventry and working as a builder’s labourer. 20-year-old Cornelius was recorded as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, in Whittington Barracks, Lichfield.
As a regular soldier, Cornelius was amongst the first troops sent to France, arriving on 4th October 1914. He was taken Prisoner of War less than a month later, being captured on 22nd October 1914. He spent the remainder of the war in captivity, receiving parcels of food and other “comforts” from the villagers of Catherine-de-Barnes.
According to the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects, Cornelius died of pneumonia on a farm in Dreierwalde. Probate records suggest he died in a prison camp (“Gefangenenlager”) but it is possible that he was on a work detail working at a local farm.
He is buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery in Germany, and is commemorated locally on war memorials at Catherine-de-Barnes, Hampton-in-Arden and Solihull.
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