Samuel Wilcock was born in the 3rd quarter of 1889 in Penymynydd, one of 13 children born to Thomas & Barbara Wilcock.
The first census we see Samuel in is in 1891 when he is 2 years old and living in Penymynydd with his parents and 5 siblings. His father is working as a coal miner.
By 1901 Samuel, now 12, and his family are living in New Road, Bannel (Near Buckley). There are still 5 other siblings living at home. One of his younger siblings, John aged 7 is defined on the census as being ‘Deaf & Dumb’. Further research shows that Samuel has another brother Peter similarly disabled, but at the time of the Census was a pupil at The District School for Deaf & Dumb in Mount Pleasant, Liverpool.
In 1911 Samuel, 22, is the eldest of 4 siblings living at home with their parents in Bannel. He has followed in his father’s footsteps and become a coalminer. The family lived in a generous sized property for the time of 8 rooms.
Shortly after the Census was taken on 2nd April, 1911, Samuel married Mary Eleana Jones in St Cynfarch’s Church Hope.
From records available on Ancestry.co.uk, it is recorded that Samuel enlisted into the 10th Batallion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Buckley in 1915.
The 10th Battalion was formed at Wrexham on 16th October 1914 and came under orders of 76th Brigade, 25th Division. At the start of 1915 they were in billets in Bournemouth & moved to Romsey on 29th April 1915 then to Aldershot on 3rd June 1915.
They landed at Boulogne 27th September 1915, and on 15th October 1915 transferred with Brigade to 3rd Division.
From the website 1914-1918.net in one of the forums I found the following information regarding the movements of the 10th Btn:
“In the middle of June (1916) the battalion went out of the line and started a circuitious march to the Somme. The last place mentioned prior to this is St Eloi in the Ypres Salient in December 1915
It next picks them up on 1 July 1916 at St Omer & going by train to Doullens. From there they marched Gezaincourt, Naours, Rainneville and Franvillers, arriving at Carnoy on 13th.” Following this they were involved in the battle for Delville Wood and two VCs were awarded.
Ray Westlakes British Battalions on the Somme subsequently gives
withdrew to Breslau Trench 21/7/16 casualties 228
To Bois des Tailles 25/7/16
Sandpit Camp 11/8/16
Talus Boise 14/8/16
Casement, Dublin, Chimpanzee trenches 16/8/16……”.
Samuel was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
Probate was granted to his widow Mary on 25th November 1916 in St Asaph. His estate was valued at £146 8s 8d.
The year following Samuel’s death, an ‘In Memoriam’ notice was printed in the Chester Chronicle on 18th August 1917. It mistakenly has his date of death as 18th August 1916. It read:
“Wilcock – In loving memory of Private Samuel Wilcock, R.W.F., who was killed in action in France on August 18th 1916.
There’s many a man has given his life —
A noble gift and free–
To shield his friend unto the end,
When none was there to see,
But those who passed with him at last
From his loving father, mother, brothers and sisters.
Rock Cottage, Penymynydd”
Samuel is commemorated on the Caergwrle, Hope, Penyffordd, Penymynydd and Hawarden War memorials.