Pulford, Samuel

There is no Samuel Pulford named on the Mostyn Memorial but there is a J Pulford named. There IS an index card for Samuel Pulford filed with the Mostyn cards. There is NO index card for a J Pulford. We do not know if S and J Pulford are in fact one and the same person. We have a page for each of them on this website. This page contains all that has been learnt about Samuel. The page for J Pulford contains no information at this point. Please can anyone help us with this conundrum?

Samuel Pulford was born in Ysgeifiog in 1862, the youngest of the 10 children of Peter & Elizabeth Pulford (nee Davies). Born into an affluent family of at least three generations of tailors & drapers, Samuel’s occupation within the Merchant Service was a little different from most of his siblings.

We first see Samuel in the census of 1871 aged 8 when he was living at home in Holywell with his parents and five of his siblings in a property adjacent to the Talbot Inn. This is the only census we actually see Samuel in, though his parents and some of his siblings remained in the Holywell/Mostyn area for all of their lives. My personal assumption is that he was probably away at sea at the times of the census and as yet crew lists for his ship(s) are not yet available.

We do know that in Liverpool, on 19th November 1885, Samuel now aged 23 was awarded his “Certificate of Competency as First Mate” in the Merchant Service. He would later become a Master Mariner.

In 1890 we know he was in Liverpool again, as he enlisted as a Mate on a ship called ‘Gorgon’. He signed on 31st May and was required to board for duty at 8am in 3rd June. He was to earn £9.00 per month, and left the ship on 9th August the same year.

Still not appearing in the 1891 or 1901 census, the next record is of Samuel’s civil marriage to Elizabeth Jane Owen (b.1878 Anglesey) in Bangor, Gwynedd in 1907.

In 1911 Samuel is again absent from the census records, though his wife Elizabeth is at the home of his sister Sarah who is married and living in Seacombe on the Wirral Peninsula.

In 1915, on 15th January, Samuel enlisted for Service in the Welch Horse Reserve – regimental Number 753. He declared his age as 50 – though he was nearly 53 – and his occupation was ‘Retired Master Mariner’. He had previously served in the Royal Naval Reserve (Regimental Number 1588), and gave his current address as Bodhyfryd Road, Holywell. His service was short however, as he was discharged on 11th June 1915 under King’s Regulations paragraph 392 iii – “Not likely to become an efficient soldier”, with the added note that he was medically unfit.

Undeterred, Samuel again became involved in the Merchant Service. In a small piece in the Flintshire Observer of 11th November 1915, it is announced that he had been appointed Lieutennant Commander of the ‘Primrose’.

Again in the Flintshire observer on 9th December 1915, Samuel is mentioned. This time it states that he is a Captain and is now back in his old occupation after some time in the Welch Horse and also playing a large part in recruiting in the area, he has left England to take over the charge of a vessel in the Mediterranean. It also states that his wife Elizabeth has “taken up duties in which she is fully efficient, and is now at Millbank Military Hospital, London”.

Sadly, the next time we hear of Samuel is following his death on 26th June 1917. The Daily Post of 28th June reports that he died “at a Plymouth Hospital from heart failure”. The report acknowledges that for a number of years he had been in command of ships belonging to the Hill Steamship Company of Liverpool, and had recently been on Naval duty. A death notice in the same newspaper on the same day reports that Lieutenant Samuel Pulford died at the Royal Naval Hospital in Plymouth. he was also a member of the Basingwerk Lodge of Freemasons 3753. His funeral was held on 29th June.

On 2nd July 1917, the Daily Post reported on his ‘Masonic Funeral’, and following the granting of probate on 16th August 1917 also published details of his will, his total estate of £9,798 6s 11d left to his wife.

Details on the ‘First World War Servicemen’ card held at Flintshire Record Office in Hawarden, shows that Samuel “Served in Egypt until invalided. Re-enlisted again as Lieutenant RNR. Served in Scapa Flow until invalided. Died in Plymouth Hospital June 1917”. Records on show he was serving on a vessel called ‘Stoic’. This was a defence tug based at Scapa Flow, which ties in with the card information, though no further details have been found to date.

Samuel is also commemorated on the Holywell & Prestatyn memorials as well as the North Wales Heroes Arch in Bangor, Gwynedd.

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