I believe that Robert Wainwright and Mary A. Shone married in Manchester in 1874 (Vol 8d Page 381),
In the 1891 census, the family was living at Scotland Cottages, Moor, Hawarden. Robert, 44 was a General Labourer, who had been born in Doddleston, Cheshire. His wife Mary A, 36 had been born in Golftyn, Flintshire. Their listed children were Robert 13, William 9, John, 7, Edward 5, Charles 3 and Albert 1. (Charles had been born in Sandycroft). Their daughter Catherine, 11 was listed in the household of John N. & Harriet Wynne and their 4 children as a Nurse at Hope Cottage, Tarvin Road, Chester, Cheshire
The 1901 census records the family at 3, Cedar Cottages, Saltney, Shotton, (then in the County of Cheshire). Robert, 53 was an Iron Works Labourer. His wife Mary A was 46. Their listed children on this census were Robert, 22 a Labourer at Tub Works (Pudd). Catherine was 21. William, 19, was an Iron Sheets ‘Dubler’. John, 17 was a Labourer. Edward, 15 was an Iron Scrap Cutter. Charles, 13 was a Postman. Albert was 11, Florence 8 and Samuel 4 . A “Friend”, Arthur Lees, 19, an Iron Works Labourer was in the household.
By the 1911 census the family had moved to 15 Butler Street, Shotton, Flintshire. Robert, 63 was a Labourer at an Iron Iron & Steel Manufacture, Galvanised. Sheet Iron Works. All his sons except Samuel, worked in the same place, probably John Summers & Sons. His wife of 37 years, Mary Ann was 55 and 9 children had been born and all had survived. Listed were John, 27 and Edward 25 both ‘Shearers’. Charles, 23 was a ‘Doubler’, Albert, 21 was an ‘Opener’, May was 18,Samuel, 14 was a Junior Clerk in an Office. The census form had been filled in by someone else as it was signed ” on behalf of Robert Wainwright”.
Sanuel Wainwright in Uniform
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms Samuel’s regimental information and tells us that he enlisted in Shotton, Flintshire. His medal card also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals.
There is an index card for Samuel Wainwright in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Card F 11 Sealand) It gives the address 31, Brookside, Sealand and it confirms his regimental details as above. The card tells us that he served for 15 Months and that he was Killed in action in the Battle of Arras on the 5th April 1917. The card was signed by Mary A. Wainwright (Mother) 26th September 1919.
Four of Samuel’s brothers were in the war too and Charles also lost his life. Please read Charles’s story to learn more.
I wrote an article about my research on the Connah’s Quay& Shotton Cenotaph and the Hawarden War Memorial and after my article was published in the November, December, January & February editions of the St. Ethelwold’s Church Parish Magazine, I received a lovely letter from Sam Jones and with his permission I have transcribed it below. Many thanks to him for all his information on the family.
13th February, 2013
Dear Mrs. Williams,
I have been given & read with great interest the Shotton Parish Magazine of November, December & January. The First World War has always been something that I have researched at great length.
Your mention of Mrs. Annie LEATHERBARROW prompts me to write & tell you my Father knew the LEATHERBARROWS well and I remember him telling me there were two brothers who were killed during the war.
My father, born 1890 in Flint & living at 29, Brookside, Garden City Volunteered, like thousands of brave but disillusioned men on the day after war was declared. He served with 1/5th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Gallipoli & Palestine.
Try as I might I could never get him to talk about those horrific years, but in the last few months before he died, aged 94, he did start to tell me a few things, one of which was that he did not get back to England until May 1919. He was dropped off at a railway station at Prees Heath & walked all the way back to Garden City. He said the weather was very warm & they were knocking on doors asking people for a drink of water, some of the doors being slammed in their faces because of their ragged, unshaven faces.
Five Uncles, my mother’s brothers, also served in the conflict. They were Samuel, Jack, Charles, Albert & Edward WAINWRIGHT & resided at 31, Brookside, Garden City.
Sam, Royal Artillery was killed at Arras, France aged 20 on 5th April 1917, buried at Faubourg D’Amiens cemetery Arras. Charlie, South Wales Borderers, died of fever in Mesopotamia 1917 & is buried in El Amara, now Iraq. Jack, Royal Artillery survived the war, as did Albert, 1/5th R.W.F. & Ted, Labour Corps.
Jack had been discharged on medical grounds after being wounded in France. He went to work in South Wales but was being given white feathers by women every time he left his workplace so enlisted & joined my Dad in Palestine in 1917.
I have my Uncle Sam’s diaries from 1916 – 17 which give a fascinating picture of those times. His last entry 4th April 1917, “No firing in day, guard at night. Battery stand to at 11.15pm for raid action. 3.45am for raid. Up all night.”
He was killed the next day. His 21st birthday would have been 11th April 1917, there is an entry on that day which is “My 21st birthday where will I spend it?”
There are tear in my eyes as I write.
This letter truly touched me and confirmed that no matter how many years elapse, the pain of the loss of loved ones never really goes away once you open the doors to your memories.
Samuel is also remembered on the Queensferry School Roll of Honour in the Queensferry War Memorial Institute and on the Screen in St. Ethelwolds Church and on the North Wales Memorial Arch (Panels) – Bangor.
A FIRST WORLD WAR DIARY
This is the diary of 116308 Gunner Samuel Wainwright, 29th Battery, 42nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery. He was born on 11th April 1896 to Robert and Mary Ann Wainwright of 31 Brookside, Garden City, Queensferry, Flintshire. He was a clerk in the General Office of John Summers & Sons Steelworks at Shotton, Flintshire, not far from where Sam lived. The diary is now in the possession of his nephew, Sam Jones of Saughall, Nr. Chester, who we owe thanks for allowing us to publish this.
1916 NOTES – OCTOBER
Left Queensferry 12.54train. A Darby and Beaman also with me to Euston. In train interesting company in C G Deane. What results wait and see. Reached Bulford camp 1am Monday. 2 hours in London.
13 Friday- Hut Orderly. At night went to “Glad Eye” in Garrison Theatre with Gunner Rigby.
14 Sat. – At night went to the “Palace” Pictures and Varieties. Sounds as if I was in a town, but no houses, are anywhere near the Bulford camp.
15 Sun. -Pay mistake, went on C of Eng Church parade. About 1,000 on it in Garrison Theatre. Did not enjoy it, too much ceremony. Stayed in hut afternoon and night.
16 Mon. – When on physical drill met Joe Smith from Pentre. Grand to see someone from our village. Stayed in all night.
17 Tue. -On maneouvres. At night stayed in hut.
18 Wed. -Stayed in hut.
19 Th. -Stayed in hut. Bill Humphreys (Flint) came to see me.
20 Fri. -Stayed in hut.
21 Sat. -At night went with Grns Rigby and Procter to Durrington, a village by Bulford.
22 Sun. -At Wesleyan Church Parade in morning. Sermon on Luke 10/11. Afternoon writing letters. Night with Gnr Hodkinson to service at Miss Perks home. Leut. Spratt (RFA officer) preached on.
23 Mon. -At night went with Gnr. Hayes to “The Palace” Pictures and Varieties. Greatly reminded of J. Brassington when girl sang “Twas not the image of your voice”.
24 Tue. – At night went with Gnrs. Hodkinson and Hayes to Wesleyan soldiers home, to Lantern lecture on New Zealand by Captain (chaplain) Evans. NZ Army very good.
25 Wed. -At night. Miss Perks home. Met Sergt. (Police) Hills son. Used to go to school with me.
26 Th. -Miss Perk’s home.
27 Fri. -At night on night party, supposed to dig gun pits. In morning…..at rifle range.
28 Sat. -Stables. 4 and 8pm after Miss Perks house finished smoking.
29 Sun. -In morning on Wesleyan Church Parade sermon on Hebrew 12/1 by Champion time. In afternoon to Bulford went with Gnr Hodkinson and driver Sid Durrington Larkhill. Went to Stonehenge latter very interesting then Amesbury. Went Wesleyan chapel there then camp then had about 14 or 15 miles walk.
30 Mon. -Stayed in hut at night.
31 Tue. -Stayed in hut at night.
1 Wed. -Stayed in hut at night. Late stables. Great fun in hut after lights out reference jungle land and Gnr. Rigby alias Thompson.
2 Thu. -At night stayed in hut.
3 Fri. -Stayed in hut at night.
4 Sat. -In afternoon, Gnrs Rigby, Procter and Hodkinson and I walked to Amesbury. Pictures, tea and supper and home. Enjoyable time.
5 Sun. -Too wet etc for parades. All parades cancelled. In afternoon Gnr Rigby and I went to service at Miss Perks? Mr Chapman (…..)On last 4 verses in last Chap of Jeremiah. Homely address free tea after. Gnr Rigby and Procter and I went also at 6.30. sermon by Lt. Spratt RFA on Matt 14/12. Four conversions read bible off Miss Perks.
6 Mon. -At night on guard. Gun park. My first guard since I enlisted. Aren’t I lucky. Not many can claim this. absolutely rotten weather pouring rain.
7 Tue. -Stayed in camp as usual Mis Perks soldier’s home.
8 Wed. -At night went with Gnr Rigby to concert at YMCA in ASC Lines. Good violinist excellent elocutionist, rotten -comedienne. This is Thursday’s note. Finished cp.
9 Th. – Miss Perks home this is Wednesday’s note.
10 Fri. – Jack’s birthday. present to be sent. At night Miss Perk’s. Red letter from Mother allotment increased hurrah!
11 Sat. – Bath attendant. At night Gnr Rigby, Procter, Hayes and Bombr. Simmons and I walked to Tidworth and back. Very hard and long walk. Promised 60 hours leave on November 25th.
12 Sun. – Bath attendant. Bed in afternoon. At night went service at Miss Perks. Mr Chapman on 2 Peter 2/1, 2 Peter 2/6.
13 Mon. – Bath attendant. At night went with Gnr Rigby to “Palace”.
14 Tue. – At night went with Gnr Rigby to Wesleyan soldier’s home. Lantern lecture on “Isle of Man” by Lt. Spratt. Fine time.
15 Wed. – Sent L to CMCGW what result. Wait and see. At night Gnr Rigby and I went to concert given by MT Band at Wesleyan soldier’s home. Grand time.
16 Th. – Gnr Rigby and I warned for overseas, about 7 pm. Peculiar way of being warned too. Him and I only 2 picked out of our squad. We have been good pals as diary shows, will we be together. Hope so. Wait and see. Where and when for don’t know. At night Miss Perk’s home writing letters.
17 Fri. – Warned for France. Paraded with kit and got issued out with field dressings, identification disc etc, etc. New clothes. At night told no regulars to go on draft. My pal and I taken off, and Territorials in our place. How uncertain we are. What next? At night went with Gnr Rigby (my pal who was on draft with me) went to Spots! at Garrison Theatre snowing.
18 Sat. – Snowing all day and night. Gnr Rigby, Bdr Simmons and I went to the Salvation Army in ASC Lines. Brigadier Tom Plant (SA) gave musical evening.
19 Sun. – In morning Gnr Rigby and I went to Salvation Army huts to a service by Brigadier Tom Plant. Speaking to him after he knew Leigh’s father. At dinner, Gnr Rigby sent for to go to the Bty office he returned with news that he had to go on draft for France. I was notto go. Too good chums parted a striking example of “one shall be taken up and the other left”. Shall I volunteer for draft? If I do I will be true to a pal. If I don’t I will be true to home. Which must I do wait and see. Afternoon in service by LP.
20 Mon – Handed my overseas kit in again and drew my own out. At night with Gnr Rigby and others to the “Palace”. Very fair show. Met Dave Edwards (Butler SP) In Miss Perk’s home.
21 Tue. – Made lumber Gunner at night went to the Wesleyan soldier’s home. Lecture by Lt. Spratt on “David Livingstone”. Very good time. After saw the 17th reinforcement New Zealanders coming in. Met two NZs enjoyed their company. Thickest fog I have seen.
22 Wed. – At night went to soldier’s Christian association, became a member. Lts Spratt and Taylor RFA in charge of association, two real gentlemen.
23 Th. – At night went with Gnrs Rigby, Hoddlestone and others to a concert given by the “Mudlarks” at Wesleyan soldier’s home chairman Col. York. Comd. in Chief of all troops at Bulford.
24 Fri.- At night went to Wesleyan soldier’s home, writing letters.
25Sat. – Gnr Rigby went with draft to France. Hard parting with a good pal. Would give anything to have been with him. Will we ever meet again? Wait and see. At night with Gnr White and others to New Zealand’s YMCA. Grand concert. Greatly struck with the familiarity amongst officers and men in the New Zealand army.
26 Sun – Afternoon with Gnr White and others to Amesbury. Went through the ancient church 1000 years old. Then at night Gnr White and I went to service at Wesleyan chapel. Text:- 1-28 1 Coloss 1 – 28 reference sleepers. After walk and back camps.
27 Mon – At night went with Gnr White and others to “Palace” fairly good show.
28 Tue – At night went with Gnr White to the Congregational hut. Concert by Cpn Winter given by RFLA. Good conjuror.
29 Wed – Met Ma Meldrum Hunterville New Zealand with Gnr White at YMCA ASC Lines.
30 Thu – At night went with Gnr White to Amesbury. Another draft picked. All my pals on it I am not. At Amesbury great excitement reference Australians and coffee bar.
1 Fri – At night went to service at Miss Perk’s home. Miss Perks there preaching on Matt. 5-25.Received muffler and socks off her.
2 Sat – At afternoon and night went to Amesbury with Sid Allen. Met two nice Australians. (what a miracle) Invited us to work with them after the war. Mister Patterson, Belgrave, Victoria, Australia.
3 Sun – In afternoon went with four others who were on draft in a motor car to Amesbury. Only 2/- for 5of us tea at Wesleyan chapel. After walk all of us at Wes service. Text Matt. 16-24. After camp Gnr White and I in choir.
4 Mon – At night went with Gnr White and others to Palace. Good show after Miss Perks.
5 Tu – On gun park guard at night.
6 Wed – At night with Gnr White and others to Amesbury. Supper as usual and back again.
7 Thu – Hebr 2 – 18. At night went alone to Miss Perks home to SCA. Lts Spratt and Taylor leaders. Golden text Hebr 2 – 18. I spoke on it – very good time. Detailed go to Tidworth on Friday.
8 Friday – Stopped from going to Tidworth. Warned for France. Received new overseas underclothing and handed my kit in. How uncertain things are in the Army. At night went with Gnr White to Congregational hut. Good concert. Rosary played on stringed violin with what result see Eva Cliff
9 Sat – Draft went to France Gnr White and others of my pals on it. At night Gnr Deane and I went to theatre (Oh I Say) play very humorous.
10 Sun – On morning never went on church parade. Went on my own to Salvation Army hut ASC Lines. Homely service there. At night heard Mrs. Chufsman at Miss Perk’s home. Farewell service to us. God be with you. Sang. very impressive.
11 Mon – At night went with Gnr Deane to Palace. Good picture entitled Two Mothers.
12 Tue – At night went with Gnr Deane to Salv. Army ASC Lines. Writing etc.
13 Wed – Put on guard then relieved quarter of an hour after and told we were to leave for France tomorrow (Thursday). When will I return and under what circumstances “Wait and see”. After with Bombr. Lockhart (Scottie) to Salv. Army ASC Lines. (My home) + Miss Perks very foggy.
14 Thu – In morning left Bulford 11am. Bulford station 12.20 arrive Southampton 3pm. Left there on “King Edward” at 7.30pm. Rough but safe passage arrived Le Havre 2.30am Friday. Disembarked 7.30am.
15 Fri – After disembarking marched about 8 miles to camp at Honfleur. Passed hundreds of German prisoners on way. Very cheery sight under canvas. Very cold but happy, plenty of bully and biscuits.
16 Sat – Passed medical test also gunnery test fit for firing line. By coincidence saw my old pal Gnr White. Both of us delighted and cheered at meeting again. Went together to the cinema.
17 Sun – Church parade in the Woodbine hut. Text Mat 16-25. In afternoon slept with Gnr White in his tent. After left service in Salv. Army for certain reasons and went to one in YMCA. Service by chaplain “Cast all thy care upon Him”. Strange thing service opened by my favourite hymn. At even ere the sun.
18 Mon – In morning went through two gas attacks. Very touching scene at night. Very huge draft went up the firing line. Gnr White and Lockhart on it.
19 Tue – In morning breakfast at 5then tram car to docks at Le Havre on fatigues. Home on tram 8pm.
20 Wed – Breakfast 5am Walked to ammunition dump on fatigues. Two others and myself cooks. Fine time reference tins beans etc. Also “gents only” etc.
21 Thu – Breakfast 5am. Tram ride to docks. Cook again. Felt ill all day. Also all night.
22 Fri – Pay. Paid 10 Francs. At night went to concert at cinema. Lena Ashwells concert. Excellent time. 5c admission. Set thinking of past days by violine and cello solos.
23 Sat – Asleep in afternoon. At night cinema with Gnr Warren and Gnr Hill. Gnr Hill knew Hilda Roberts and Lou Hudson etc. His wife worked in Ellesmere Port Coopers.
24 Sun – Warned for draft. To go up line tonight. All letters wrote and sent. Up tomorrow. At night went to Woodbine hut. Chaplain spoke of home etc so had to come out. Bed early Chaplain tactless.
25 Mon – Had excellent dinner. Taken off draft. At night went to concert in the Woodbine hut. Treat of a tune. Received present.
26 Tue – At night went to pictures.
27 Wed – At night writing letters. Woodbine hut.
28 Thu – Went to 16 Camp cinema hall boxing contest.
29 Fri – On pass. Went with Gnr Hill to Le Havre. Exciting ride on car step. Nearly killed twice. Photo taken. Look round. Back 9 train.
30 Sat – Went at night with Gnr Hill to the pictures. After to Catholic club. Saw man reading pm leader. Had walk and talk with him.
31 Sun – Warned for firing line. Left camp 5.30 pm. Had a walk about 7 miles full kit in pouring rain but singing. Through side lanes etc. Left Le Havre about midnight. 16 in a compartment. Sand dunes not in it. Travelling all night.
Few hours in Le Havre
Honfleur December 15 – 31
Achieux Jan 2 – 4
Bus Jan 4 – 11
Mailly Jan 11 – 17
Rest in St. Ouen Jan 17 –
Rest in Houvelien Feb 1 – 8
Rest in Rebreuvrette Feb 8 – 17
Action Arras Feb 18 –
Wagon line at Auguetin
1 Mon. – Arrived Rouen 8am in YMCA. Great fun scrambling orangeste. Left Rouen at 4pm. Travelling all night, same old crush.
2 Tues. – Arrived at Acheux 4pm, after short stay Doullens attached to 3rd DAC. In action. First thing we heard of was casualty killed. Saw flashes star shells, also heard reports all up to now of warfare.
3 Wed. – Spoke in a meeting to the DAC on “An Englishman’s Religion”. Appointed to speak next week if here (will I be) Champion time
4 Th. – Arrived Bus village. Left DAC. Marched to the 29th Bty 42nd Brigade, attached E Sub. Chaps very chummy. Quite surprised to meet Billy Hough (Pentre) while crossing road in village at night with Billy.
5 Fri. – At night in village with Gnr Walstenhulme. unwell.
6 Sat. – Bed 6pm not well.
7 Sun. – Morning at Ammunition Dump loading ‘Iron Rations’. At night with Gnr Walstenhulme & his friends. Cosy time in a coffee house, them YMCA.
8 Mon. – Reported sick. Got attending hospital Poisoned stomach. Bed early.
9 Tues. – Sick same result as yesterday. Cannot eat.
10 Wed. – Attending hospital.
Went Gun Pit on no 3 & 4 positions.
12 Fri. – Slack time. Not much firing excepting SOS then rapid fire.
13 Sat. – Slack time. When at rear of gun pits met Willie Howe who worked in invoice Office Summers’.
14 Sun. – Did not fire a round Sunday in a Gun Pit. Explain.
15 Mon. –
16 Tues. – On fatigues at old position. Shell holes every yard. Shelled us but not much. On guard at night in snow. Shelled right of our position.
17 Wed. – Went out of action. Walked to wagon lines. Slept in stables. Just to right of our position heavily shelled.
18 Th. – Reveille 4.30. Walked, ran and rode to St Ouen. Rest Station. Slept in Dancing Hall. 12 hours march in snow. Met Percy Powell. Both of us pleased and surprised.
19 Fri. – Grooming &c. At night in village with Gnr Walstenhulme.
20 Sat. – Great fun over our billet affair. At night in village.
21 Sun. – Harness & Gun Park inspection at night more fun ref our billet. Intended going to church but could not find it.
22 Mon. – Half holiday Football match. Went in Driver Barber’s billet with him. At night went there alone wrote letter etc. Very friendly & homely. Learning French.
23 Tues. – Went at night to Dr Bar-Billet. Mademoiselle there. Wrote letter, learning French. Good time.
24 Wed. – Same as Tuesday at night. In afternoon went to St Leger to cinema….. …. and good time.
25Th. – Got afternoon off special pass. Went on bike (one pedal) to Halloy. Spent a few hours with Bill Hough Fred Tompkins & Alf Davies (Mancott).
26 Fri. – At night Billeted (privately) with Dr Barber’s Billet lady’s daughter. Nice feather bed. comfortable time.
27 Sat. – Strong rumours we were to move at night stayed in billet writing etc.
28 Sun. – Told we were to move so went back to army billet.
29 Mon. – Within an inch of death saved by comrade from falling under limber. Reveille 5am. Breakfast 6am left St Ouen. Rode on horse & limber & walked alternatively to Amplier. Stayed night in canvas huts dinner 8pm. No wonder we were hungry. Met Corporal Brown.
30 Tues. – Reveille 5am. Breakfast 6.30. Left Amplier 8am. Encore to yesterday in snow to Fillievies (via Doullens & Frevent). Dinner 7pm. Slept in barns letters fron Jack & Mr Harrison.
31 Wed. – Stayed day at Fillievies. Reveille 6.30. Grooming and harness cleaning morning. Afternoon off. Walk in village. Early bed
1 Th. – Reveille 6am left Fillievies 7.30am. Hardest days work since enlistment. On …… of march in cruel frost to Hou..lin via St Pol. Raw heel, roads like glass. Terrible time. Slept in barns great fun with farmer who objected.
2 Fri. – Harness cleaning and grooming. afternoon off Bed early Rats in galose in barn.
3 Sat. – Gun laying & cleaning up etc. At night feed on eggs with Cpl Brown. 3 eggs each.
4 Sun. -In afternoon went with 3 Gunners tea at Estaminet on chips. At night on picket. 2nd relief
5 Mon. – At night with Cpl Brown & S/S Badeuck for chips at Estaminet.
6 Tues. – Encore to last night.
7 Wed. – Encore to last night. 3 eggs & chips each.
8 Th. -Reveille 5am left Hou..lin 8am. Arrived Rebiea.ette 1pm. Bitter cold. Afternoon off. Reading Leader.
9 Fri. – At night Waiting for bread for hour at French bakery. Why should we have need to buy it. Often bought it before and will again.
10 Sat. – Afternoon off. Walk with Gnr King.
11 Sun. – Went to C of E church parade in a barn. General & C.Os present. Afternoon writing to mother in Estaminet & Mrs Boswell. At night Faragowl affair ref Cpl Brown
12 Mon. – Faragowl dagenager. At night went with Gnr Stanley walk. Enevie with Cpl Brown to Monday Afternoon off. Cpl & I had eggs for tea. Specials.
13 Tues. – Afternoon off. At night Bed early. Parcel from Mrs Wilcock. Eggs for tea for Cpl Brown, Gnr Stanley and me.
14 Wed. – Faragowl tagea. At night Bed 6pm. Letter & PO from Mr Clarkson. Replied in house (farmers) in afternoon.
15 Th. – Aternoon off. In Coffee House all afternoon. Cpl Brown & Gnr Stanley & myself. 3 eggs for tea, specials. At night in same coffee house. Banjo and singing.
16 Fri. – At night in coffee house with Gnr Stanley & Cpl Brown.
17 Sat. – Left Rebieuviette 11am and arrived Wanquetin nr Arras 4.30pm. At night NCOs only affair. What are billet was like (barn with no sides to it) bitter cold.
18 Sun. – Left X went action Arras On picket for Dr at night. 5 francs better off. Tea with Cpl Brown at Mdme Mardory bought Pine Apples for Mdme Mardory (refer to Birthday Book April 5).
19 Mon. – At night with Cpl Brown. Supper Mdme Mardory potatoes, meat very kind lady as we were short rationed and this helped us.
20 Tue – Great time on “How Cpl and I got bread when all troops were refused.”
21 Ash Wed. – Moved to fresh billet in same village. At night I was on piquet.
22 Th. – Cpl. Brown and I visited Mdme Mardons encore du pain when going back to billet great fun ref. Cpl and his four foot dive into the ditch.
23 Fri. – Cpl and I went to Church Army Hut. Received parcel from the Chaplain. Good feed. Needed it. Met Bill Reynolds (Garden City) quite surprised. Did not know him from effects of active service.
24 Sat. – At night Cpl and I visited Mdme Mardons. She gave us good feed on mutton and potatoes after our Pineapples. In afternoon long chat with W. Reynolds.
25 Sun. – I went to Mdme Mardons. Reading Leader then returned.
26 Mon. – Cpl and I visited M.M’s.
27 Tue. – At night I went on wagons to Arras with ammo. Fine place. Returned 10.30pm.
28 Wed. – I went at night to M. Mardons in morning aeroplane scraps.
1 Th. – At night called for Bill Reynolds then we went to Hauteville then there went to see Fred Tomkins and Bill Hough. Fine feed with Bill.
2 Fri. – At night Cpl and I visited M. Mardons
3 Sat. – At night went on marching drill full equipment and blankets. For being few seconds late on parade after wrote letters Mr. Mousdale.
4 Sun. – Morning Church Parade. C of E. In French Church. Afternoon water trough fatigues. At night Cpl Brown and I went to Hauteville met with Bill Hough what Bill did for us – – -.
5 Mon. – On water trough fatigues all day. At night bed early. GSW in ditch affair.
6 Tue. – Saw Sir Douglas Haigh as he went by our Stables. At night Cpl and I went Mdme Mardons.
7 Wed. – Saw Sir D. Haigh again. On guard at night. Last relief.
8 Th. – At night Cpl and I visited Mdme Mardons.
9 Fri. – Expecting W Hough but he did not come. Had parcel from home. Atnight good feed tinned sausage, contents of parcel. Letter saying Mother ill.
10 Sat. – At night Cpl and I went to Hauteville. to see Bill Hough, found him then went to coffee house.
11 Sun. – Cpl. and I visited Mdme Mardons morning Church parade.
12 Mon. – Encore. Kick on hand.
13 Tue. – Encore
14 Wed. – Met Joe Nichil Garden City. Went M M’s with him.
16 Fri. – Forget events hand bad could not write.
17 Sat. –
18 Sun. – In morning went Church parade. Met our Ted. Went to his billet until 3.30pm. then went Arras MM/ machine gun fire.
19 Mon – Arrive back 4am. bed until 8am. 5pm Arras again. Encore to last night.
20 Tue – Returned 5am. Bed until l0am. At night with Ted to Mdme Mardons.
21 Wed. – With Ted in village.
22 Th. – Arras again back 2am.
23 Fri. – Arras again. Back 10.30pm
24 Sat. – With Ted to Hauteville. Searched in vain for W Hough. Went to pictures.
25 Sun. – Driver picket. Ted came to see me. Bdrs Stanley and Essep wounded on our gun.
26 Mon. – Went in action replaced casualties. Feeling anything but well. Swollen and sore throat. What our sleeping place was.
27 Tue. – Straffe at Reveille. intermittent firing often. Layers on our gun in place of Bdr Stanley.
28 Wed. – Did not fire in day but we were heavily shelled afternoon and night. On guard night.
29 Th. – SOS. about 3.30am finished at 6am. Gunner Skeets slightly wounded we were heavily shelled.
30 Fri. –
31 Sat. – Fairly busy firing all day. Great fun with Sergeant reference fancy dress.
1 Sun. – Not much firing. Writing Mrs. Meigh at night where would I be were I a civilian?
2 Mon. – Busy firing all day.
3 Tue. – Fairly busy firing.
4 Wed. – These are Mondays notes. No firing in day, guard at night. Battery stand to 11.15pm for raid action. 3.45am for raid a success. Up all night.
11 Wed. – 21st birthday. Where will I spend it?
The final entry, possibly written on the 4th April knowing he was going into battle, was rather ironic for on the 5th April Samuel Wainwright was killed in action in the Battle of Arras after only 15 months of service and is buried in Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Pas de Calais, France. Grave Reference No: 111. N. 27.
Samuel’s Soldier’s Will, which he probably wrote just before he went into battle is on the website – https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Wills?Surname=wainwright&SurnameGrants=wainwright&YearOfDeath=1917&YearOfDeathGrants=1917&IsGrantSearch=False&IsCalendarSearch=False#soldiers
This website has recently started and will be ongoing, so perhaps some more of the local soldier’s wills will be on it. The cost is £10 and can be ordered online.