Private 12851 Samuel Mansell

Mansell Samuel MerseysidePoliceMemorial
Samuel is commemorated on a 2018 memorial "Merseyside Police Remembers".

Killed in Action on Monday, 26th October 1914, age 29.
Commemorated on Addenda Panel 58 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

King's Company of 1st Bn., Grenadier Guards. 20th Brigade of 7th Division.

Husband of Laura M. Mansell of Soley, Norwich.
Born: Great Bridge, Enlisted: Cardiff, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 6th October 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/910413/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Samuel Mansell registered March quarter 1886 in Dudley.

1891 Census
44 William Street, West Bromwich Staffs.
Thomas Mansell (32, Boiler Maker, born West Bromwich), his wife Mary J. (31, born West Bromwich), and their 4 children: Alice (9, Scholar, born West Bromwich), Thomas (7, Scholar, born West Bromwich), Samuel (4, Scholar, born Tipton), and Nancy (2, born West Bromwich).

Cannot trace on 1901 census.

Marriage of Samuel Mansell and Laura M. Hayne registered March quarter 1911 at St George Hanover Square, London.

1911 Census
Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London.
Samuel Mansell (23, Married, Private 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards, born Great Bridge, Staffs).

1911 Census
23 Tennyson Street, Kilburn, Middlesex.
Recorded as a Visitor with William and Emma Knight was: Laura Mansell (26, Married, born Tunstead, Norfolk).
Samuel and Laura had 2 children: Frederic Samuel born 17 December 1911 in Norfolk, but died in 1912, and Laura Grace born 8 March 1913 in West Derby, Liverpool.

Laura re-married in February 1919 to John Charles Hunt in Stockport.

Personal Data

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records Samuel's death as between 26th October and 8th November 1914; 'Soldiers Died in the Great War' records death as between 20th and 26th October 1914.

Samuel enlisted with the Grenadier Gaurds on 6th September 1906 in Cardiff. He stated that he had been born in Great Bridge, Staffordshire, and gave his occupation as Collier. At the time of the birth of his son Frederic in December 1911, he was still serving with the Grenadier Guards.

After serving his time with the Grendier Guards, Samuel joined the police force in Liverpool. It was in Liverpool that his daughter Laura Grace was born in 1913. He is commemorated on the 'Merseyside Police Remembers' memorial created in 2018.

After Samuel's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £1/18/7d (1 pound, 18 shillings and 7 pence); this was paid to his widow, Laura May, in April 1915. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was paid in July 1919 to his widow who was by then Mrs Laura May Hunt. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Samuel had enlisted at the very outbreak of war, in August 1914.

Laura received a pension of 15/0d (5 shillings) per week for herself and her daughter, this was effective from 21 June 1915.

Action resulting in his death

On the outbreak of war Samuel, as a former regular soldier, was called up to make up the full complement of the 1st Grenadier Guards (1/GG). Samuel landed in Zeebrugge on 6th October 1914, the day that the 1st Grenadier Guards first landed on the Continent. They were intended to take part in the defence of Antwerp but their arrival was too late, so moved eastwards to play a great part in the 1st Battle of Ypres. They arrived in the Ypres area on 14th October as part of 7th Division which became known as 'The Immortal Seventh'.

By the 16th October, 1/GG were in the line along the Menin Road near Zandvoorde, south-east of Ypres. On the 19th, 1/GG were ordered to advance on Menin through Gheluvelt, this was abandoned after seeing that we were vastly out-numbered. The next few days saw 1/GG resisting numerous concerted German attacks, particularly heavy on 24th and 26th October.

After a short period out of the line, 1/GG returned only to be severely attacked on 29th October near Zandvoorde, when the Germans managed to get between 2 Divisions. 1/GG suffered heavy losses, but managed to resist the German advance when there was little in reserve to prevent a German outbreak to Ypres and beyond.

The 1/GG were still in the line on 31st October, the infamous day when the Worcesters restored the line at Gheluvelt after another ominous German breakthrough.

By mid-November 1914, 1/GG had already had 200 men killed and at least twice that number wounded. They were withdrawn from the Salient to take up a quieter position near Fleurbaix.

Between 26th October and 8th November 1914 Samuel was listed as Missing in action and eventually was presumed to have been killed. Samuel’s body was not identified and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

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