No.4399 Private Thomas Ford, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
16th November 1876 – Thomas Ford is born in Islington, London. This is a probable date as during his time in filling in forms
Thomas also claimed to be born on the 9th of November 1876 and the 9th of August 1878.
April 1881 – Thomas Ford is noted by the census taker for the 1881 census. At the time he is listed as a 3 year old child living at 5
Annesley, Islington, London. His father, Stephen Ford, is a 34 year old general labourer and his mother, Emma, a 33 year old cook.
Also at home are Thomas’s 3 older siblings, his sister Elizabeth aged 13 and his brothers William (aged 8) and Arthur (aged 5).
The marriage between Stephen and Emma is shown in the December Quarter of 1867 in Islington, Emma’s maiden name being
22nd May 1895 – Thomas Ford enlists for the 3rd Middlesex Militia at Hounslow. He is numbered as No.8780 of that unit and is in
service for 54 days before being given a conditional discharge (Army Form E529).
11th July 1895 – Ford attempts to enlist with the army at Hounslow. He is given a primary medical exam by Captain John Kearney
of the Army Medical Staff and passed fit.
16th July 1895 – Enlists for the Worcestershire Regiment at Hounslow. Ford was at that time a member of the 3rd Battalion
Middlesex Regiment. He is given notice by Colour Sergeant Gates of the 3/Middlesex and this is witnessed by a Sgt. J. Briers. The
Attesting Officer is Major F.D. Lumley, commanding the 57th Regimental District Depot. Ford is described as an 18 year 8 month
old man, 5ft 5in tall, 116 lbs in weight (a mere 8 stone 4 lbs) with a chest measurement of 33 inches (35 inches expanded). He had
a fresh complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair and was Church of England by denomination. Distinctive marks are shown as
being ‘two scars lower part of back’. His next of kin at this time were shown as his father, mother and three older siblings, all living
at 17 Berbram Street, Highgate. The newly recruited Private Ford is given the Regimental number of 4399 and joins the 2nd
Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment at Aldershot.
Four months after joining his new unit the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment are ordered to Malta.
Times : Thursday 14th November 1895 p6 col. E – It is notified that the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment will arrive at Malta
from Aldershot on the 22nd inst.
Times : Friday 15th November 1895, p7 col. F - A Reuter telegram, dated Southampton, November 14th, says that the Britannia,
Hired Troopship, left yesterday with 82 officers and 1,042 men of all ranks, Lt. Col. J. F. Egerton, 2nd Worcestershire Regiment, in
Times: 23rd December 1895, p7 col. B – Major Francis Seymour Allen, Worcestershire Regiment, has been selected for the
command of the 2nd Battalion, which is vacant by the retirement of Lt. Col. J.F. Egerton.
18th October 1896 – After just over a year of service Ford is appointed as an unpaid Lance Corporal whilst serving in Malta.
8th June 1897 – Lance Corporal Ford is charged with ‘Neglect of duty when in charge of a barrack room’, he is reported by 2/Lt.
Hanley and Col. Sgt. Grey and is punished with a reprimand by the CO, Lt. Col. Allen.
10th June 1897 – Ford reverts to Private at his own request – this was to be the last time in his military career that he would hold
16th July 1897 – After 2 years of good conduct, Ford is granted a pay increase of a penny a day. He would also have been allowed
a pass to stay out after curfew, a benefit of having at least one Good Conduct badge.
After 2 years in Malta the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire are ordered to Bermuda.
Times: Monday, 20th September 1897 p5 col. C - The 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade will leave the Royal Albert Docks on Thursday
next in the hired transport Avoca for conveyance to Malta. The Avoca will afterwards carry out the following round of Regimental
reliefs: - 2nd Bn. Worcestershire Regt. from Malta to Bermuda; 2nd Bn. Leinster Regt. from Bermuda to Halifax N.S. etc.
Times: Monday, 4th October 1897, p7, col. D - The hired troopship Avoca, from London, arrived at Malta yesterday, and landed
the 2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade, and left for Bermuda with the 2nd Bn. Worcestershire Regiment.
Times: Saturday, 9th October 1897, p12, col. D - The hired transport Avoca left Gibraltar yesterday with the 2nd Bn.
Worcestershire Regiment, and two companies of artillery, for Bermuda.
The Worcestershires then spend a quiet period of two years in the West Indies before being ordered to Halifax, Nova Scotia. This
was a posting that was never to happen due to the onset of hostilities in South Africa which would act as a magnet for troops of
the Empire from all over the globe.
29th October 1899 – Ford is charged with 2 offences :- (Army Form B121)
1. Breaking out of barracks after tattoo.
2. Absent from 7am parade.
He is convicted and sentenced to 5 days confinement to barracks (CB) by Captain J.P.S. Maitland.
Times: Monday, 30th October 1899, p7, col. D - On November 20th the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment is moved from
Bermuda to Halifax, Nova Scotia..
Times: Friday, 24th November 1899, p10, col. E - The 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, instead of being moved from
Bermuda to Nova Scotia, as previously ordered, is being brought home to be stationed at Aldershot, and will arrive at
Southampton in the Avoca about the end of next week.
Times : Monday, 27th November 1899, p9 col. F - The hired transport Avoca left Bermuda for Southampton on Saturday with the
2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment on board.
Times: Thursday, 7th December 1899, p10, col. E - The hired transport Avoca arrived at Southampton yesterday morning,
bringing the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, consisting of 20 officers, 2 warrant officers and 935 men, together with
women and children from Bermuda for Aldershot. The men will join the 6th Division and shortly go to South Africa.
Times: Monday, 18th December 1899, p10, col. A - All this business of getting the troops on board and despatching the ships was
concluded in perfect order and without the slightest hitch, in bitterly cold weather. But of enthusiasm there was none, or next to
none; for the people of Southampton have grown accustomed to embarkations, and besides that everybody is suffering from a
heavy feeling of depression just now. To-day it has been colder than ever, and the men of the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire
Regiment, who are fresh from Bermuda, clearly felt it very much. But the Tintagel Castle, in which they have sailed, is emphatically a
very comfortable ship, and they will soon reach a less rigorous climate on their southwards journey.
Times: Tuesday, 16th January 1900, p6 col. A - 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment arrived at Cape Town on Tintagel Castle –
10th inst. (*diary of Captain Wodehouse states the 8th, this may have been the date the Cape came into view.)
Having arrived in Cape Town on the 10th of January 1900 the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment are entrained. Here we can
rely on the diary of Captain E.C.F. Wodehouse who was the Adjutant of the Regiment. He was killed in 1915 whilst commanding
the 1st Bn.
Cape Town. Arrived Jan. 8th, disembarked 12th. Proceeded by train to Rensburg; by march route to Sliegersfontein 16th Jan.
Formed part of the 12th Inf. Bde. under General Clements (24th Foot) with 1 Royal Irish R., 2 Wilts, 1 Bedfords.
Jan. 25th. Reconnaissance in force—first occasion of the 2nd Bn. being under fire since Toulouse.
Took part in operations round Colesberg, culminating in the attack on British outposts, Monday, Feb. 12th.
Casualties – Officers:
Bt. Major A. K. Stubbs.
Captain B. H. Thomas (died).
Lieut. C. F. Ruxton.
2/Lieut. M. R. Carr.
Casualties - Other ranks:
Sgts. Watkins, Carter; Cpl. Pritchard, L/Cpl. Allen, Ptes. Mason, Carrington, McNaughton, Parton, Danks, Pinner, Parker, Lammas,
Weissner, Morris, Deverill, Turley.
28 (1 died of wounds); missing and prisoners, 19 (2 died of wounds).
The following notes are from Mr. A. Bradish who served with the battalion in the South African War. His Company Commander was
Captain C. M. Edwards.
12th February 1900
The action of Sligersfontein, named after the farm there, was our first engagement exactly one month after landing in South Africa.
This successful engagement with the Boers brought the first honours to the battalion—two D.S.O.'s, immediate awards to Captain
H. de B. Hovell, O.C. "A" Coy., and Lieutenant H. V. Bartholomew, O.C. "E" Coy.
Three companies bore the weight of the attack, "A," "E," "C." "A" and "E" held the Kopjes, with "C" in support. Lieut.-Colonel
Conningham went from the H.Q. Camp immediately he heard the Boer attack was in force. He was leading the supporting company,
commanded by Captain Thomas, " C " Coy. Both fell very early, the Colonel killed and Captain Thomas severely wounded,
afterwards died. The Colonel had been in command of the battalion only two months. Major Stubbs, O.C. "E" Coy., was killed and
Lieutenant Bartholomew took command of the company. Captain Hovell immediately assumed command of the three companies,
and the position was held against great odds without one yard of ground being yielded. Severe casualties were inflicted on the
Boers. This outpost line, of which Sligersfontein was the extreme right flank, was 20 miles in length and held by four battalions of
infantry, the 12th Brigade commanded by General Clements.
On 13th February the whole brigade retired to Rensburg and then on to Arundel, closely followed by the Boer General, De La Ray,
and his commandoes, a distance of 30 miles. At Arundel reinforcements arrived and the Boers were halted.
The Worcestershire Regiment WWW site at http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/ gives the following account of this battle:-
On the 12th February 1900, the right flank of the British at Slingersfontein came under a strong attacked by the Boers
commanded by General De la Rey's. The key of the British position at this point was a kopje held by three companies of the 2nd
Worcester Regiment. Upon this the Boers made a fierce onslaught, but were as fiercely repelled. They came up in the dark
between the set of moon and rise of sun, as they had done at the great assault of Ladysmith, and the first dim light saw them in
the advanced sangars. The Boer generals do not favour night attacks, but they are exceedingly fond of using darkness for taking
up a good position and pushing onwards as soon as it is possible to see. This is what they did upon this occasion, and the first
intimation which the outposts had of their presence was the rush of feet and loom of figures in the cold misty light of dawn.
The occupants of the sangars were killed to a man, and the assailants rushed onwards. As the sun topped the line of the veldt half
the kopje was in their possession. Shouting and firing, they pressed onwards. But the Worcester men were steady old soldiers,
and the battalion contained no less than four hundred and fifty marksmen in its ranks. Of these the companies upon the hill (later
named Worcester Hill) had their due proportion, and their fire was so accurate that the Boers found themselves unable to advance
any further. Through the long day a desperate duel was maintained between the two lines of riflemen.
The Worcestershire Commander Lieut.-Colonel Charles Cuningham and his second in command Brevet- Major Arthur Kennedy
Stubbs were killed while endeavouring to recover the ground which had been lost. Hovel and Bartholomew continued to encourage
their men, and the British fire became so deadly that that of the Boers was dominated. Under the direction of Hacket Pain, who
commanded the nearest post, guns of J Battery were brought out into the open and shelled the portion of the kopje which was
held by the Boers. The latter were reinforced, but could make no advance against the accurate rifle fire with which they were met.
The Bisley champion of the battalion, with a bullet through his thigh, expended a hundred rounds before sinking from loss of
blood. It was an excellent defence, and a pleasing exception to those too frequent cases where an isolated force has lost heart in
face of a numerous and persistent foe. With the coming of darkness the Boers withdrew with a loss of over two hundred killed and
wounded. Orders had come from General Clements that the whole right wing should be drawn in, and in obedience to them the
remains of the victorious companies were called in by Hacket Pain, who moved his force by night in the direction of Rensburg. The
British loss in the action was twenty-eight killed and nearly a hundred wounded or missing, most of which was incurred when the
sangars were rushed in the early morning.
1st. General Clements’ Bde. Advanced on Rensberg via Arundel considerably augmented by M.I. and guns; left Rensburg on the
4th and arrived at Van Zyl Siding on the 9th.
A party of the regiment under Lieut. Bartholemew proceeded to Worcester Kopjes (Sliegersfontein), where those who fell on Feb.
12 were given burial.
15th. Passage of the Orange River was effected at dawn by 2 Worc. R. and ½ Bn. Berks. Without opposition under cover of the
16th to 4 Apr. Long and continuous marching visiting Phillopolis and Fauresmith, halting a day at each place to allow the Burghers
to surrender their arms.
Total mileage for the month—140 miles.
4th. Arrived Bloemfontein. Strength on arrival—Officers: 18, Rank and file: 723.
From Apr. 4 to May 19 during the enteric scourge—Died 13, admitted to hospital 216, of whom 13 eventually died; 103 invalided
Increase in strength: Volunteer Company—3 Officers, Captain Bucknall, Lieuts. Checketts and Pardoe; Rank and file, 120.
29th. Draft of Sec. D Army Reserve — 2 Officers, Captains. Maitland and Alderson, 100 rank and file.
Officers joined — 2/Lieuts. Ray and Hamilton.
Officers invalided — Captain Chichester, Lieuts. Arden, Winnington and Pardoe.
19th. Strength on marching out—Officers 20, Rank and File 721. Trained to Smaldeel and marched on to Winberg—arrived 24th.
28th. Marched to Senekal, arriving 30th.
Sgt.-Maj. Ryder left on 2nd on promotion to Qr.-Mr.; duties taken over by Col.-Sgt. Pavett.
11th. Bn. took part in the ceremony of proclaiming the Orange Free State as Orange River Colony.
18th. Draft of Militia Reserve joined — 1 Officer, 2/Lieut. Gibbs and 89 rank and file.
25th. Draft of Militia Reserve joined at Winberg—R. & F. 139.
During the month the Bn. was employed on convoy duties between Senekal and Winberg.
21st. Right half Bn. under Major Edwards with 2 Companies of I.Y., the Malta M.I. and two guns left Winberg on return journey
and was met at Riet Spruit by an empty convoy under Gen. Clements with left half Bn. Bedfords, and 2 guns 8th Bty. R.F.A.
23rd. Combined force attacked at dawn by a strong force of enemy under Commandant De La Rouse, who was eventually driven
off with loss. The convoy returned to Winberg.
The conduct of the Bn. on this occasion was the subject of remark by the G.O.C. and the following order was published at his
Extract from Bn. Orders by Lt.-Col. Hacket Pain, 25.6.00:
“The Commanding Officer has great pleasure in informing the Bn. that the G.O.C. was extremely pleased with the smart way the
Bn. got under arms and into fighting formation on the occasion of the attack by the enemy on Saturday last.”
The following notes are from Mr. A. Bradish who served with the battalion in the South African War. His Company Commander was
Captain C. M. Edwards.
23rd June 1900
The empty convoy mentioned had no supplies, but, this is important, with it were a number of wounded of the Brigade of Guards,
including Colonel Lloyd, of the Grenadiers. These wounded came from the action fought at Biddulphsburg Mountain. This Riet
Spruit attack opened at first light of dawn. The Boers had managed to bring their guns to within a thousand yards of the convoy,
which was parked on the road. The shells from the Boer guns were well directed and were aimed at the parked convoy, fortunately
without casualties. The attack was from the East, and as the sun came up it partly obscured our vision. This was an old trick of the
Boers, but it did not work this time. At the first shell Colonel Pain's voice could be heard "The Worcesters will attack." We slipped
on our equipment and inside a few minutes we were on them. Lieutenant Wodehouse, our Adjutant, rode fearlessly about with
orders from Colonel Pain to company commanders, and he really inspired the whole battalion by his gallantry. Our rifle shooting
was good and we had the Boer guns silenced in less than half-an-hour. Within two hours the fight was ours and the Boers, in full
retreat, were dispersed in all directions, but we had not sufficient mounted troops to trap them—all the Boers were mounted. It
was a very spirited and well-fought action. Colonel Lloyd told Colonel Pain that he had never seen a battalion handled better in all
his soldiering, and he wished it conveyed to all ranks the magnificent way they had conducted themselves. General Clements also
added his congratulations
25th. The convoy resumed its march to Senekal, having been reinforced by two 5in. guns.
28th. Force composed as follows—1Royal Irish, 2 Bedfords, 2 Worc. R., 2 Wilts, 8th Bty. R.F.A., 2 Coys. Yeomanry, 1 Coy. Malta M.
I. Brabants Horse, under command General Clements, moved out of Senekal in the direction of Lindley and embarked on
operations, which resulted finally in the capture and occupation of Bethlehem on July 7th.
5th. Previous to moving off a message from the C. in C. necessitated a slight alteration in the composition of the force. The
Bedfords and the Malta M.I., with a convoy of wounded and sick men, were ordered to return to Lindley with instructions to occupy
and garrison that place. The advance of the column was continued and Bethlehem was occupied on the 7th. The operations which
had resulted successfully in the occupation of this town had extended over a period of ten days, demanding a considerable amount
of endurance on the part of the troops owing to continuous marching and daily opposition, illiciting the following commendatory
order from the G.O.C.:
Brigade Order, Bethlehem, July 7th:
“The G.O.C. wishes to congratulate the force under his command on the way it has acquitted itself during a trying time since its
march from Senekal. The mounted troops have seen very hard work and a good deal of fighting. The artillery have performed most
excellent service and made excellent practice. The infantry have had hard work, continuous marching, and done excellently when in
contact with the enemy. The Royal Irish Regiment particularly distinguished itself to-day. To each and all the thanks of the G.O.C.
are due, and he has the utmost confidence that the 12th Brigade, as now constituted, will continue to maintain the high reputation
it has already won.”
9th. - 11th. The force left Bethlehem with a convoy of empty wagons to fill up at Winberg; on the 11th the force camped at
Biddulphsberg, the empty wagons being sent on into Winberg with an escort of mounted troops.
18th. A small force under Lt.-Col. Hackett Pain, 2 Worc. R., left to take part in the operations that culminated in the surrender of
General Prinsloo and 4,000 of the enemy. The force consisted of 2 Worc. R., Bn. 2 Wilts, 8th Bty. R.F.A. and two Squadrons I.Y.
19th. This force occupied the hills round Wit Nek watching the Nek pending the arrival of other columns taking part in the
23rd. A combined attack was made on the several Neks, which form the principal outlets from the Brandwater basin into the
northern and western portions of the O.R.C.
The task assigned to Lt.-Col. Pain’s force was a demonstration of all arms against Wit Nek to prevent the enemy from reinforcing
Slobberts and Relief Neks where the attacks were to be pushed home. The losses of the Bn. on this occasion was one man
25th. The force left Wit Nek, marching by way of Slobberts Nek, where a portion of the force was left to hold the Nek; the
remainder marched to Reliefs Nek on the 26th, continuing to hold this till August 1st.
2nd. The force rejoined Gen. Clement’s Bde and the whole force moved off the following day under orders for Kronstadt.
8th. This was reached, where the regiment remained till the 12th.
12th. On this day the regiment entrained for Elandsfontein, near Johannesburg. Strength of the Bn.— 23 Officers, 807 R. & F.
16th. Marched by road to Pretoria. At Irene met several of the men who were taken prisoners at Sliegersfontein. They had been
released on the occupation of Pretoria by the British and were now being used in guarding the lines of communication.
18th. The Regt. marched into Pretoria and were met by the C.-in-C., Lord Roberts, who remarked on the workmanlike appearance
of the men.
20th. Left Pretoria by train at 4.30 a.m. and detrained at Waterval. After the successful operations, which had just been completed
in the O.R.C., the Transvaal now became the centre of activity and numerous columns were in course of formation to sweep the N.
E. portion of this colony. The troops taken for this task were those who had been for some little time resting in Pretoria and those
holding the various stations in our possession along the railway running east to Kemati Poort. These were replaced by the troops
daily returning from the arduous operations in the Caledon Valley, and for this reason the force under General Clements was being
rapidly scattered in various directions. The only remaining unit was 2 Worc. R., who formed part of a new Bde. which was
eventually raised in the Transvaal by General Clements, to whom had been assigned the task of clearing the Magaliesberg Valley.
23rd. The right half Bn. was sent to Hamans Kraal.
Waterval was a train station on the Pretoria-Pietersburg railway line around 20km north of Pretoria. The station had been named
after a farm nearby which had been a POW camp for the Boers, the men held there being released on the 6th of June 1900 by a
squadron of the 2nd Dragoons. In was in this location, or close by, that saw Private Thomas Ford of the 2nd Battalion
Worcestershire Regiment was wounded on the 28th of August 1900.
28th November 1900 – Private Ford of E Company, 2nd Worcestershire is admitted to the No.13 General Hospital at Wynberg with
a gunshot wound of the hand. His condition is complicated by the fact that he is suffering from enteric fever.
14th December 1900 – Invalided to England on board SS Canada where his enteric is classed as ‘severe’.
3rd January 1901 – Admitted to Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley with gunshot wounds and enteric fever.
28th March 1901 – Ford is sent on Furlough from Netley Hospital. He is transferred for administration reasons to the 4th Battalion
13th May 1901 – Letter is sent from the Connaught Hospital at Aldershot to the OC of the 4th Worcester Regiment: ‘Please
forward as soon as possible the medical history sheet of No.4399 Pte. Ford T. it is urgently required to complete his invaliding
documents’. The OC of the 4th Bn replies three days later that the documents are not in his possession.
31st May 1901 – Admitted to Aldershot hospital
29th June 1901 – Ford is examined at the Connaught Hospital, Aldershot by G.J. Davies, Surgeon Lieutenant. At the time he is
serving with the 4th Battalion of the Worcestershires. On his Army Form B179 it states:-
Disability: Gunshot wound of hand.
Date of origin: 26th August 1900
Present Condition: On patient’s left hand there are two scars, the scar of entrance is situated at the upper part of the palm,
midway between the third and fourth fingers, the scar of exit is situated to the upper side of the knuckle of the third finger. Patient
is unable to clench the left hand owing to the fact of being unable to bend the third and fourth fingers into the palm. It has not
been aggravated by vice, intemperance or misconduct. The condition of his hand renders him unfit to perform his duties as a
soldier. Caused by bullet in action at Watervaal, South Africa when on duty.
The disability is permanent and will prevent his earning a full livelihood to the extent of ½.
Proposed for discharge on account of permanent unfitness for duty.
Surgeon Lt. Davies’ recommendation is concurred by the Medical board on the same day and approved by the Surgeon General.
16th July 1901 – Thomas Ford is granted 2d/day Good Conduct pay.
31st July 1901 – Discharge of Private Thomas Ford of the 4th Bn. Worcestershire Regiment at Aldershot. The forms (Army Form
B268) are signed by Ford and witnessed by Cpl. S.J. Hickman, it is then confirmed by Lt. Col. Murray of the 4th Worcestershire
Regiment. At the time of discharge Ford had served for 6 years and 16 days. He is described as ‘clean, smart, steady, sober and I
believe thoroughly trustworthy soldier. Is being invalided from the army on account of wound to hand sustained in South Africa
and is fit for light work only’. His character is described as ‘very good’. At that time his physical description was 24 years 8 months
old, 5ft 8½ inches tall, 35 inch chest measurement, fresh complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair, a labourer by trade. His
intended place of residence is shown as 115 Middleton Rd., Hornsey, London. His Chelsea Hospital number was 15558/C.
14th July 1902 – Ford appears before Surgeon Ligertwood at Chelsea Hospital for a medical exam. The surgeon notes the following
on the medical report:-
Present state: Gunshot wounds of left hand quite healed. Effects are inability to close the third and fourth fingers of the left hand
on the palm. Great tenderness in the cicatrix of the wound in the palm of the hand from injured nerve. Wasting of the muscles of
the left arm. Loss of power of grasp and loss of power to lift any heavy thing. Not equal to the loss of a limb.
Disability is permanent and will not improve or get worse.
Impaired capacity for earning, able to contribute half.
Present employment: Window cleaning and other light jobs. Has been earning 3s 6d a week during the past 2 months. Employed
by Hornsey Town Council, Hornsey.
31st July 1901 – 1st award of pension. Discharged as medically unfit and with 6 years in the colours (1y 11m in Malta, 2y 1m in
Bermuda, 1y in South Africa), Thomas Ford of the Worcestershires is granted a pension of 18d per day for a 12 month period, the
result of a gunshot wound to the hand.
1st August 1901 - A medal roll for the South Africa Medal and clasps under the Army Order granting the medal issued on 1st April
1901 is filled in by the 2nd Battalion of the Worcester Regiment at Heilbron, Orange River Colony.
No.4399 Pte. T. Ford is granted the medal with clasps for Wittebergen, Cape Colony and Transvaal.
31st July 1902 – 2nd award of pension – 8s 9d per week on a permanent basis.
12th December 1913 – Letter from Royal Hospital, Chelsea to Infantry Records Office, Warwick.
Sir, In compliance with the request conveyed in your letter dated the 18th inst. I am directed to send you the discharge documents
of the man named in the margin (No.4399 Pte. T. Ford Worcester Regt.), and I am to report that they may be returned to this
office as soon as possible. Please note that all future applications for Discharge documents should show both cause and date of
(Signed) W.T. Hughes – Asst. Secretary.
19th December 1913 – Identical letter to above sent.. plainly they had not been sent.
30th July 1919 – Letter from Thomas Ford to Ministry of Pensions.
106 Green Street, Enfield, Highway.
Sir, will you kindly inform me if I am entitled to any increase in my pension as I have not received any yet. I have part lost the use
of my left hand and can only do work of a light nature. My pension is 1s-3d per diem for life which is not much at the present time.
I was wounded in the Boer War. I remain yours;
(Signed) Pte. T. Ford, No.4399, 4th Worcestershire Regt.
16th December 1919 – 3rd award of pension. Revision of award submitted due to man’s letter of appeal dated 30th July 1919.
Medical board report of 1st October 1919 shows 30% disability (gunshot wound, left hand).Granted pension of 8s-3d per week to
2nd September 1919 and then 12s per week for 73 weeks.
13th January 1921 – 4th award on medical board report of 13th December 1920. Disability of 20%. Resume Pension of 15d per
day from 26th January 1921.
11th February 1921 – 5th award, submitted on declaration of pensioner dated 2nd February 1921.Income £60, Pension rate
increase to 22.5d per day from 1st April 1920. Ford at this time is a 44 year old married man with no children under 16 years old.
He is living at 106 Green Street, Enfield Highway, Middlesex and is employed as a porter.
11th January 1922 – 6th award, submitted on declaration of pensioner dated 12th December 1921, Pension granted until 31st
December 1922. Income £113. Pension of 22.5d per day. Ford is employed by a Mr. Douthwaite of Roebuck Nursery, Enfield
Highway and earned £74 working in the year with an additional £4-10s coming from 6 weeks of unemployment benefit.
30th September 1922 – A child, Thomas George, is born to Thomas Ford.
5th October 1922 – 7th award granted until 31st December 1923. Income £175-16s-8d, pension rate of 22.5d per day.
2nd October 1923 – 8th award granted until 31st December 1924. Income £143-12s-6d, pension rate of 22.5d per day. Ford is
still employed by A. Douthwaite and living in Green Street, Enfield.
10th October 1823 – Memo from A. Douthwaite, Nurseryman of Roebuck Nurseries, Enfield Highway.
Ref: Thomas Ford of 106 Green Street, Enfield Highway. This is to certify that the above man in my service has earned in wages
from 2nd October 1922 to 2nd October 1923, £109-8s-0d.
6th October 1824 – Memo from A. Douthwaite, Nurseryman of Roebuck Nurseries, Enfield Highway.
This is to certify that Thomas Ford of 106 Green Street, Enfield Highway has earned in the last 52 weeks ending 5th October 1924
15th November 1924 – 9th award granted until 31st December 1925. Income £138-13s-6d, pension rate of £8-11s-2.5d
19th February 1925 – Enquiry Form No.18. From Pension Issue Office to the D.G.A. “W” Branch, Acton.
Enquiry – The above named pensioner (Thomas Ford) has been admitted to the Special Surgical Hospital, Shepherds Bush and in
the circumstances you are requested to state what is to be considered the maximum rate of pension payable. Please treat as
Answer – The total disablement pension payable in this case is 40s a week. Any payment authorized in respect of treatment should
be made in accordance with M.P.I. 175 (para 5).
14th March 1925 – 10th award granted until 31st December 1925. Pension revised to £9-14s-1d a quarter from 1st July 1923 to
31st December 1925. Former awards from 1st July 1923 deducted.
23rd June 1925 – Minute sheet from Asst. Secretary of Awards, ‘M’ Branch, Room 405, Acton.
The above named pensioner has been admitted as an in-patient to the Queens Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton; it is therefore
requested that you will please notify as speedily as possible the maximum pension payable to this man whilst he is under treatment
and unable to follow a renumerative occupation.
5th October 1825 – Memo from A. Douthwaite, F.R.H.S., Nurseryman of Roebuck Nurseries, Enfield Highway.
To Mr. T. Ford. This is to certify wages from 1st October 1924 to 16th February 1925 - £54-14s-3d.
29th October 1925 – 11th award granted until 31st December 1926. Income at £101-16s-11d. This includes 22 weeks @
17s/week National Health insurance and 8 weeks @ 14s/week Parish Relief. Ford has been unemployed since 16th February 1925.
4th October 1926 – Letter from the Urban District Council of Enfield stating that Thomas Ford has earned £82-3s-2d from the
30th of December 1925 to the 28th of July 1926 when he was made unemployed.
18th October 1926 – 12th award granted until 31st December 1927. Income £138, pension rate of £9-14s-1d.
5th October 1927 – Letter from H. Whitby Ltd., Commercial Motor Engineers and Contractors of 380, High Street, Ponders End,
Enfield. We hereby certify the following wages paid by us to Thomas Ford during year ending 30th September 1827. Total of £83-
9s-0d. Ford had worked for them since early February 1927.
22nd November 1927 – 13th award granted until 31st December 1928 at £9-14-1d
3rd October 1928 – Letter from H. Whitby Ltd., Commercial Motor Engineers and Contractors of 380, High Street, Ponders End,
Enfield. We hereby certify the following wages paid by us to Thomas Ford during year ending 27th September 1828. Total of £50-
20th October 1928 – 14th award granted until 31st December 1929. Income at £160-14s-11d.
4th October 1929 – Letter from H. Whitby Ltd., Commercial Motor Engineers and Contractors of 380, High Street, Ponders End,
Enfield. Ford’s wages from October 4th 1828 to September 27th 1929 - Total of £137-18s-3d.
28th October 1929 – 15th award granted until 31st December 1930 at £9-14-1d per quarter. Ford states that he has been
attending hospital with chronic rheumatism.
3rd October 1930 – Letter from H. Whitby Ltd., Commercial Motor Engineers and Contractors of 380, High Street, Ponders End,
Enfield. Ford’s wages from October 4th 1829 to 3rd October 1930 - Total of £54-16s-2d. Ford was absent from work (ill) from
March to mid-September 1930.
27th November 1930 – 16th award granted until 31st December 1931
30th September 1931 – Declaration from Ford states that he has been out of work due to illness from March 1931.
3rd November 1931 – 16th (2) award granted until 31st December 1933
3rd October 1933 – Declaration from Ford states that he is out of work and only able to do casual jobs.
5th October 1933 – 17th award granted until 31st December 1935
4th October 1935 - Declaration from Ford states that he has no permanent employer since he is attending hospital so often, but
does casual labour when he can. He has moved address to 36, Croft Road, Enfield Wash, Middlesex.
23rd October 1935 – 18th award granted until 31st December 1937
5th October 1937 – Declaration from Ford shows his total means in the past 12 months was £91-14s-8d. He states that ‘I have
been unable to follow any employment for 3 years as I am attending hospital for growth in throat and quite unable to do anything.
I am getting Public Assistance only’.
18th October 1937 – 19th award granted, 15d + 70%, awarded until 31st December 1939
4th October 1939 – Declaration from Ford shows total means of £91-14s-8d. He is still at Croft Road, Enfield. He has no
occupation due to sickness.
20th October 1939 – 20th award granted, 15d + 70%, awarded until 31st December 1941
6th October 1941 – Declaration from Ford shows total means of £53-19s-0d. He is living at 42, Croft Road, Enfield. He has no
occupation due to sickness (shown as attending hospital for past 6 years) and is living on Public Assistance of 12/- per week. His
wife died on the 22nd of June 1941 and he is thus a 65 year old widower.
11th November 1941 – 21st award granted, 15d + 70%, awarded until 31st December 1943
13th March 1942 – Death of Thomas Ford, Ex Private No.4399 of the Worcester Regiment at the North Middlesex Hospital of
Carcinoma of the Larynx. He would have been 66 years old at his death.
WO 97/4859 (Soldiers Discharge documents)
WO 100/184 p116 (Medal roll page)
PIN 71/2667 (Pension & invalidity file)
Various WWW sites as listed.
|Thomas Ford, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.