Edward Augustus Capener
Edward Augustus Capener was born in 1876 and baptised on 24 December of that year at North Nibley, the son of Thomas, a farm labourer, and Fanny Capener. In 1891 Edward was a cowboy, living on his employer's farm at Hawkesbury. On 7 June 1896 he married Annie Elizabeth Cooper at St Stephen's, Cinderford, and by 1901 he was the innkeeper of the New Inn, Painswick, living there with his wife and growing family. In 1911 Edward, Annie and their five children, Dorothy Ivy, William Edward, Annie Christina, Charles Richard and Helen Minnie were living in Saul, and he had once again become a farm labourer. Their eldest daughter, Dorothy, aged 13, was helping at home because Annie was an invalid. The 1913-15 electoral registers record Edward living on Frampton Green; the Capeners' tobacco shop adjoined the Three Horseshoes on its north side.
Details of Edward's enlistment as a private with the Gloucestershire Regiment have not been found, but on 27 October 1915 he landed in France. It is likely that Edward, whether following illness or injury, or as reinforcement, was transferred to the 7th (Service) Battalion of his regiment after their withdrawal to Egypt from Gallipoli, where they had suffered heavy losses from combat and disease. Their initial task was to defend the Suez Canal, but in February 1916 they were redeployed to Mesopotamia. The Allies then advanced up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers towards Baghdad, being involved in heavy fighting at several points.
British forces had originally taken the city of Kut al-Amara (which lies within a loop of the Tigris) in September 1915, but then in December were besieged by Turkish troops under German command and had to surrender in April 1916. It could well have been in the fierce fighting to re-take Kut in February 1917 that Edward Augustus Capener suffered the wounds from which he died on 11 March; there were reports of wounded soldiers having to endure appalling conditions which led to many more deaths than would have been expected. He was buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) War Cemetery, Amara (now in Iraq).
During the war Edward's wife and children appear to have moved to 11 Mercy Place, Southgate Street, Gloucester, near to Annie's family. A memorial service for Edward and other village servicemen who had lost their lives was held at St Mary's on 17 June 1917. Edward Capener was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and is commemorated on Frampton's War Memorial and the plaque in the Village Hall.