1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Bernard John WILLIAM (aka Billy) Ford

Contributed by: Antony Ford, on 2008-11-06

Bernard John William Ford
Rank
First Name Bernard John WILLIAM (aka Billy)
Surname Ford
Year of Birth 1898
Year of Death 1956
Regiment East Yorkshire Regiment, North Staffordshire Regiment
Place of Wartime Residence Uttoxeter, Staffordshire

Bernard John WILLIAM (aka Billy)'s Story

My grandfather enlisted in the North Staffordshire Regt on 12/5/17 with Service No 39931 and posted to Depot. On 17/5/17 he was posted to 7 Training Reserve Bn, then posted to 267 Infantry Bn on 3/11/17. He was transferred to the 3rd Bn East Yorkshire Regt on 1/12/17 with Service No 41076, possibly to replace casualties suffered by the East Yorks Regt at Ypres in Oct & Nov 1917. Further postings were to the 10th Bn on 18/1/18 and then 3 days later to the 7th Bn. He was appointed unpaid Lance Cpl on 15/10/18 and promoted to paid L/Cpl on 25/10/18. He was demobbed on 7/3/19. Medal records show he was awarded the BWM 1914-18 and the Victory Medal. On initial enlistment at age 18 yrs 7 months, he was 5' 1 3/4", weighing 108 lbs. When he joined the TA at 26 years he had grown to 5'4" and weighed 120 lbs.

He subsequently re-enlisted in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Supplemental Reserve with Service No 780181 on 10/11/24. I am told that in civilian life he was a farrier. From 17/3/28 he was attached to the 6th Bn North Staffs Regt (TA) and was finally discharged on 31/3/29.

After he was transferred to the E. Yorks Regt, there was mix up in the reporting of a casualty with the same surname. Official notification was sent to his mother that he had been reported as Killed in Action on 28 Sept 1918. At this time the East Yorks Regt were involved in the Battles of the Hindenberg Line whilst the North Staffs were also involved in the same campaign.

Apparently he came very close to having his name on the town War Memorial and he was oblivious to the fact he had been reported as KiA until he came home on leave!!

My father told me that he was also wounded at some time during the War but there is no mention on the official War Office records and he never spoke about it!

The Ford who actually died on that day was 42438 Pte Thomas Ford aged 19, son of John Ford of 9 Don Cottages, Thurlstone Sheffield. He is buried in the Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extn, Pas de Calais (Plot II H 17).

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