Driver 39474 Samuel Oliver

Died Mesopotamia on Sunday, 19th August 1917, age 32.
Buried in Grave XX. A. 14. at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq.

Royal Field Artillery, 66th Brigade, "C" Battery. 13th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: 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/634708/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Samuel Oliver registered June quarter 1885 in Dudley.

1901 Census
19 Nock Street, Tipton, Staffs.
James Oliver (45, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Jane (43, Coal Miner, born Tipton), and their 7 children: Florence (18, born Tipton), Samuel (15, Loader at Railway, born Tipton), Louie (13, born Tipton), May (10, born Tipton), Emily (9, born Tipton), James (6, born West Bromwich) and Percy (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
98 Hargate Lane, West Bromwich, Staffs.
James Oliver (55, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Jane (53, Coal Miner, born Tipton), and 5 of their 8 children: Samuel (25, Groom, born Tipton), Emily (19, General Domestic, born Tipton), James (16, Parcels Clerk, born West Bromwich) and Percy (11, School, born Tipton).

Marriage of Samuel Oliver and Louisa Whitehouse registered March quarter 1913 in West Bromwich.

Personal Data

After Samuel's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £25/3/0d (25 pounds and 3 shillings precisely); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Louisa, in May 1918. His War Gratuity was £17/10/0d (17 pounds and 10 shillings ), this was paid to his widow Louisa (then Louisa Walker) in May 1920. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Samuel had enlisted in August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

66th Brigade Royal Field Artillery was the Divisional artillery for 13th Division who had been in Mesopotamia since February 1916, following its evacuation from Gallipoli, remaining there for the remainder of the war. It is not known when Samuel Oliver joined the Division, it was certainly in Mesopotamia as he was not entitled to the 1914-1915 Star.

The 13th Division was at the forefront of the unsuccessful attempt to break the Siege of Kut in April 1916. In December 1916 at the Second Battle of Kut, the 13th Division played its part in driving the Turks from Kut, then pushing north to participate in the capture of Baghdad in March 1917. There were a number of smaller actions to consolidate the position, but the 13th Division stayed in the Baghdad area for the remainder of 1917.

During the Mesopotamia campaign, more men died from disease than were killed in action. Due to the prevalence of mosquitos and flies, malaria and dysentery were constant problems, but were not the only health difficulties. Samuel Oliver died from sickness on 19th August 1917 and is buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery.

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