Cornelius was previously a Private with the East Lancashire Regiment until 1912. When war broke out he reenlisted in St Helens in October 1914.
Cornelius served with the 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales’ Own), who were initally serving in Egypt but were recalled to Liverpool when war broke out, they later sailed for France as part of the 3rd Cavalry Division.
Cornelius would have travelled on to Beligium and may have seen action in battles part of the first phase of fighting at Ypres. After surviving winter there Cornelius would have been part of the Battle of Frezenburg Ridge which took place in May 1915.
Cornelius was killed in action on 13th May 1915. He was 23 years old.
Cornelius is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial Ypres and the St Helens Parish Church Memorial.