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Samuel Ward (1881-1917)

Bricklayer from South Moor served with Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Samuel was born on 5 December 1881 in Willington, Durham. He was the eldest son of George Henry Robinson Ward and Jane Ward nee Kasher, who had seven children.

Samuel married Emily Renfrey in 1904. They had eight children: George William, Samuel, Jospeh Kasher, Florence May, Leslie, Lilian, Thomas Renfrey and Emily.

In 1911 Samuel was working as a colliery bricklayer and living at 43 John Street, South Moor with his wife, daughter and two sons; two sons, Samuel and Joseph, having already died of croop. Samuel’s son Thomas Renfrey Ward died in 1920 of diphtheria and Samuel is named on his headstone as well as his wife’s.

Samuel enlisted in 1916 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as Corporal 20430 Ward.

Many items of Samuel’s were returned to his family after his death and amongst them were two small diaries. The entries of his movements in one of the diaries are as follows:

8 April 1916 left woodlands for Bulford Camp, Sailsbury
14 April left Bulford for Avonmouth
16 April left Avonmouth for Southhampton 8.45
17 April arrived 3.30pm Reoun
21 April left Reoun for Abberville
23 April left Abbervilee for Venant
Sat 4 June Hospital till 12 June;
1 July 1916 Outhuile advance started in reserve to relieve NF’s (Northumberland Fusiliers) that night 4 days in trenches
5 July left S??oon for ??eeke
8 July 1916 La Boiselle Ovillers advanced and into German third line relieved after 4 days
12 July Warloy for fresh Guarlters
13 July Perrennes
27 July in trenches
Sunday 11 Sept 1916 CCS Hospital Bethune, damaged foot & ankle.
‘A’ Company, Grenade Section. Bayonet No 3.L.L. 284;
Rifle No K 19802.

Samuel died on 2 August 1917 of mustard gas poisoning, aged 35 years. At the time of his death the family were living at 16b Maple Street, South Moor. A memorial service for Samuel was held at St George’s Church, South Moor on 14 October 1917. He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France (IV.A.51) and his CWGC headstone reads “He hath fought the good fight and won the Victory”

His name appears on St George’s Church War Memorial, South Moor; South Moor Park Gates Memorial and South Moor Social Working Men’s Club Memorial Plaque (now in South Moor Methodist Church, Park Road, South Moor).

He received the British War Medal and Victory Medal

Samuel’s brother Joseph Kasher Ward served with the Royal Engineers, he survived the war and married in 1919. He had a daughter in 1920 but unfortunately not long after that he was admitted to Winterton Hosptial, Sedgefield with shell shock. He spent the rest of his life there until his death in August 1962. Two of the conditions listed on his death certificate included gangrene of both legs and schizophrenia.

South Moor Heritage Trail website, Maple Street:

Civil Parish: South Moor

Birth date: 05-Dec-1881

Death date: 02-Aug-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Gender: Male

Contributed by carrollhouse41, Stanley