Service Number 140709
Battalion SAA Section 5 DAC
Regiment Royal Field Artillery
William Henry Ford was born on the 5th December 1893 in Pickering, Yorkshire, the son of William and Hannah Ford. The Ford family was a large family and William had 6 brothers and 3 sisters. William grew up working with farm animals and by 1911 was living at Harome, Nawton, Yorkshire as a servant for Mr William Flintoft, a farmer. William was employed as a waggoner or farm horseman. William Henry Ford's father died in 1909.
By the 8th December 1915, when William enlisted for military service, he had moved to the village and gave his address on his military service sheet as Compton, Collingham.
After enlistment William spent some time waiting for mobilisation, which eventually came on the 26th April 1916 when he was posted to No 1 Depot of the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) in Newcastle on Tyne as a driver. At this time most of the Artillery was moved by horse and his animal handling skills would have been valuable. A few weeks later, on the 14th May 1916, he was posted on to the 2/6 Reserve Brigade, RFA.
William probably completed his training with this unit in the UK until the 10th November 1916 when he was sent overseas, arriving in France and joining the Expeditionary Force as a Driver with 11 Reserve Battery on the 11th November 1916. The Reserve brigades and batteries were the source of replacements and reinforcements and on the 23rd November William moved to join B Battery of 166 Brigade RFA. He seems to stay with this unit through the re-organisation of the Artillery in January 1917 when B Battery 166 Brigade RFA became C Battery of 93 Brigade RFA.
On the 26th January 1917, William was admitted for treatment for a sprained ankle but the injury was clearly serious enough for further treatment as he was then transferred and admitted to 12 General Hospital in Rouen, and two days later, on the 30th January 1917, he was evacuated back to the UK via the Hospital Ship Lanfranc. In the UK he nominally joined 50 Reserve brigade RFA, but was clearly still under going treatment as he was at 3 Scottish General Hospital in Glasgow on the 8th January 1917.
His recovery progressing, William was posted to the Command Depot in Ripon on the 8th April 1917 and then to No 4 Depot as a Driver on the 21st June and then to 5C Reserve Brigade.
William was posted back to France and rejoined the British Expeditionary Force on the 18th July 1917. However in his last few days in the UK William overstayed his leave from the 2nd to 4th July and was deprived of 4 days pay.
On the 5th August 1917, William joined No. 3 Section of 5 Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC). He next saw service in Italy from the 2nd December 1917 until the 29th March 1918, when he returned to France.
On the 8th July 1918, William was admitted to hospital again, this time through sickness, but he was fit enough to return to duty on the 10th.
William was granted a furlough in England from the 9th to the 23rd August and he returned to France on the 24th August. William saw out the rest of the fighting in France and continued serving there until the 25th January 1919 when he returned to the Dispersal Centre and embarked for home in Dunkirk. He was finally demobilised on the 21st February 1919.
After the war, William Henry returned to the general Wetherby area. In 1919 we find him registered on the electoral roll in Thorner with his brother Tom who is noted as being absent through Naval or Military service. William remains in Thorner for a few years, for example he, his brother Tom and his widowed mother, Hannah, all appear on the electoral roll for 1923 at Church View, Thorner.
In 1925, William married Nellie Thompson and from 1930 to 1935 both are registered as living at Railway Cottages, Collingham. No occupation is given in the electoral rolls, but four years later, in 1939, a General Registration took place. By then William and Nellie had left Collingham and were living at Barrowby Gates, Tadcaster with a number of their children. William was a railway permanent way labourer while Nellie was listed as a railway crossing keeper.
Another moved followed between 1939 and 1946, when we find William and Nellie living at 2 Manston Cottages, Crossgates and they stayed at this address through to at least 1959. We believe that William Henry Ford died in 1976.
Biography last updated 10 March 2021 16:45:42.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 29063
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
First World War British Army Service Records. The National Archives (WO363).
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