Lance Corporal 19947 Samuel Darby

Darby Samuel 96 399x600Darby Samuel 96 400x600
Photograph courtesy of Terry & Jean Langford.

Killed in Action on Friday, 20th July 1917, age unknown.
Buried in Grave II. H. 48. at Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

9th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment (Pioneers). Pioneer Battalion of 23rd Division.

Born: Coseley, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. John's Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/103220/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
16 Edge Street, Wallbrook, Coseley, Staffs.
Joseph Darby (38, Widower, Bricklayer, born Sedgley), and his 5 children: Joseph (12, born Sedgley), Samuel (10, born Sedgley), Sarah (7, born Sedgley), Louisa (5, born Sedgley), and Alfred (3, born Sedgley).

1911 Census
2 Edge Street, Wallbrook, Coseley, Staffs.
Sarah Lowe (50, Widow, House Duties, born Rounds Hill, Staffs), and her 5 nephews & nieces: Joseph Darby (22, Miner - Horse Driver, born Coseley), Samuel Darby (20, Miner - Horse Driver, born Coseley), Sarah Darby (17, Packer in Factory, born Coseley), Louisa Darby (15, born Coseley), and Alfred Darby (13, School, born Coseley).

Marriage of Samuel Darby and Phoebe Randle registered September quarter 1912 in Dudley. They had 2 children, Emily born in December quarter 1913, and Samuel born in December quarter 1915.

Personal Data

Samuel was born in Coseley, and was still living there in 1911. He is shown as being resident in Tipton when he enlisted, most likely in the Princes End area as he is commemorated on the St. John's memorial. His brother Alfred was also killed in action, on 20th September 1917, whilst serving with the Royal Fusiliers, having initially enlisted with the South Staffs.

In February 1918 Samuel's widow, Phoebe, received his outstanding army pay and allowances of £7/7/1d (7 pounds, 7 shillings and 1 penny). In November 1919 she received his War Gratuity of £9/0/0d (9 pounds), this amount suggests that he had enlisted in June 1915.

Action resulting in his death

The 9th South Staffs were the Pioneer Battalion for the 23rd Division; they landed in France in August 1915. After a spell in the Loos area, they moved to Vimy, then to the Somme. During the Battle of the Somme the 23rd Division were involved in the Battles of Albert, Bazentin Ridge, Pozieres, Flers, Morval, and Le Transloy. In 1917 they moved to the Ypres Salient, where they took part in the Battle of Messines.

Both Samuel Darby and Hugh Callaghan were killed in action on 20th July 1917, the circumstances of their deaths are not known. As they are buried side by side in Perth Cemetery near Ypres, it is a distinct possibility they were killed in the same incident, with a German artillery shell being a possible cause.

Newspaper Cuttings