Private 40753 Alex Sampson

Sampson Alex 96 400x600

Died of Wounds on Saturday, 10th November 1917, age 34.
Buried in Grave XV. A. 19. at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Westvleteren, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

'B' Company of 10th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers. 52nd Brigade of 17th Division.
Formerly 17501 Army Cyclist Corps.

Husband of Mrs Mary Agnes Sampson, of 45 Bell Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Norton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, 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 Tipton Library, and St. Matthew's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/153932/

Genealogical Data

Alex Sampson was born Broom Hall Farm, Norton Junction, Worcestershire, and his birth was registered September quarter 1882 in Pershore.

1891 Census
Hatfield Road, Norton, Norton Juxta Kempsey, Worcester.
Samuel Sampson (50, Agricultural Labourer, born Hallow, Worcs), his wife Sarah (51, born Norton, Worcs), and their 4 children: Rose Hannah (24, born Norton), Alice R. (19, born Norton), Albert George (14, Grocer's Assistant, born Norton), and Alex (8, born Norton).

1901 Census
The Green, Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire.
Samuel Sampson (60, Widower, Labourer on Farm, born Grimley, Worcs), his son Alex (18, Gentleman's Groom, born Norton, Worcs), his daughter Alice White (28, born Norton, Worcs), her husband William White (34, Anchorsmith's Striker, born Tipton) and their two children: William (8, born Hednesford), and Florence (3, born Hednesford).

1911 Census
Headley Heath, Kings Norton, Worcs.
Alex Sampson (28, Cowman on Farm, born Norton, Worcs), his wife Mary Agnes (28, born Warwick), and their 2 children: Mary Agnes (4, born Fillongley, Leics), and John George (2, born Walmley, Worcs).

Personal Data

Following information courtesy of Alex's grandson, Mike Sampson, who frequently visits Alex's grave at Dozinghem.
Alex was a 'Gentleman's groom' and met his wife, Mary Agnes Webster who was in service, at Alcott Hall, Marston Green. They married in 1903, were living in Kings Norton in 1911, before moving to Bell Street, Tipton in 1912/1913. They had 3 children: Mary Agnes (born 1905), Jack (born 1908) and Fred (born 1911). In Tipton Alex was a 'cowman' at Lowes Hill Farm, at the rear of St. Matthew's Church (The Shrubbery Estate is sometimes known as Lowes Knob).

Mary Agnes lived in Bell Street until 1944, where she ran a faggot & peas shop. She moved to live with her daughter Mary in Sherwood Avenue in 1944, and died in 1945.

Alex volunteered in 1916, at the Tipton Recruiting Office (The Drill Hall, in Sedgley Road West). 'Soldier's Died in the Great War' shows that he was a member of the Army Cyclist Corps before transferring to the Lancashire Fusiliers. There appears to have been quite a number of men with similar Army Cyclist Corps numbers who were transferred to the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers at the same time as they have similar Lancashire Fusilier numbers.

After Alex's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/9/5d (4 pounds, 9 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his widow Mary A., in April 1918. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow Mary in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Alex had enlisted within the previous 12 months.

Action resulting in his death

The Second Battle of Passchendaele was the concluding action of the Third Battle of Ypres, and is given the dates of 26th October to 10th November 1917. In reality the large scale operations concluded on 6th November with the Canadian capture of the village (or what remained) of Passchendaele. This however did not stop the flood of casualties as both sides aimed to defend the positions they held; artillery, machine guns, and sniping were constant threats.

On the 7th November, the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers left Marsouin Camp, at Elverdinghe, just north of Ypres, for their next tour of duty in the front line. Early next day, 'B' Company, including Alex Sampson, went into the line at Olga House just north-west of Poelcapelle. It would be wrong to think of 'the line' as a trench system, at this stage it would be little more than a series of water-filled shell holes.

On the 9th November, Alex was severely wounded and evacuated back to one of the Casualty Clearing Stations at Dozinghem. He died on 10th November and is buried in the adjacent Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

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