Thomas Dowdell was the son of Andrew and Mary Dowdell. Thomas was born in Magherafelt on 13 November 1896. After his father died the family moved to Belfast. Tommy Dowdell enlisted in August 1916 in Belfast. In October 1916 Tommy Dowdell was accidentally shot in the head during training. The Medical Officer was of the opinion that his injury would, in all probability, ‘interfere with his future efficiency as a soldier’. Tommy returned to active service and he was posted to France on 1 September 1917. He was wounded in the arm in December. He was sent home on furlough. He developed epileptic convulsions and syncope and died on 26 November 1919, having been wrongly declared by the Army to be a Deserter. In 1922, the Army Council acknowledged their error.
Brookwood is 30 miles from London (M3 to Bagshot and then A322). The main entrance to Brookwood Military Cemetery is on the A324 from the village of Pirbright. There is a direct train service from Waterloo to Brookwood Station from which there is an entrance to the cemetery. The 1914-1918 Memorial stands at the north-eastern end of the 1914-1918 Plot.