Basford, William

William Basford was a native of Sandycroft and as such should be remembered somewhere, although he did not die in action, but of Comsumption, and was discharged in 1916 medically unfit, he is remembered on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as that is where I discovered him as a native of Sandycroft. He and his widow did receive an Army Pension so his illness must have been related by the Army as coming from or exaggerated by his service.

William Basford was born in Sandycroft, circa 1882, his birth was registered in Hawarden of that year (HAW/29/82).   He was the son of John Henry Basford & Mary A. Martin, who married the 17th July 1869 at St. Mary’s Church, which may have been St. Mary’s on the Hill by the Castle.

The 1881 census shows the family before William’s birth living at 13, Brown’s Row, Saltney, Hawarden, Flintshire.

William is seen first living at 58, Duke Street, Birkenhead, Cheshire, with his large family, on the 1891 census.   They had moved many times according the place of birth of the children. Head of the household, father John H. Basford, 43 a Steam Engine Fitter, was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, and his mother Mary A. Basford, 44, was a Chester girl.   Two sons, Thomas H., 20, was born in Saltney, Cheshire and Arthur, 18, born in Crewe, were also Steam Engine Fitters. Daughter Agnes A., 17, was also born in Crewe. Son John E., 14, was a Grocer’s Errand Boy, while son Frederick,11, born Chester, son William, 8 and daughter Lilly, 6 had been born in Sandycroft, Flintshire and were all scholars. Son George, 2 was born Saltney, Cheshire and baby Edward under 1 month was born in Birkenhead.

1901 sees William’s brother Thomas living at 134 Cathcart St., Birkenhead, Cheshire, with his new wife and family.   Thomas Basford, 30, was a Marine Engine Fitter, born in Saltney, his wife Margaret, 35 had been born in Chester.   Their daughter Margaret, 4 and son John 4 months old had both been born in Birkenhead. William’s other brother Frederick,21 and single was a Brass Labourer and also there was Thomas’s sister-in-law, Sarah J Davies, single and a Cook had been born in Chester.

I cannot however find William on that census but he is on the 1911 census as a married man with a family, living at 59, Oliver St., West Derby,Liverpool.(2 rooms)   William, 30, a Dock Labourer and Ellen, 26, his wife, a Laundress, had been married 2 years and 2 children had been born to them, they were daughters, Katherine, 4 and Lily, 2.   They like Ellen had been born in Liverpool.

I cannot find his parents, but I have found another brother on the 1911 census, I can send details if you contact the webpage.

It seems that William enlisted in 1915, as can be seen on one of his Attestation Papers:-

Date of Enlistment – 27th April 1915

Adm. Bd. 31st August 1916 – Rejected.

Cause of Discharge – Medically Unfit.

Report of Medical Board. (Dated 12th January 1916)

Date and place of origin unknown reported sick September 1915

Not result of Military Service. Not stated whether Permanent.   Total incapacity.

It also seems on one of the papers that his symptoms appeared in 1915, and somehow, his papers reveal the Army did eventually say it was aggravated by his Army Service.

He was described on his papers as being age 34 years, 3 months, although 37 years had been crossed out., he was 5 feet 9 inches tall, Fresh complexioned, Blue eyes, Brown hair and a Butcher, by trade.   His military character was described as “Fair” and his character, awarded in accordance with King’s Regulations was described as “Honest, sober and trustworthy.”

A letter on behalf of his widow was sent to the Army-

Letter from the Liverpool Local Committee of the Naval & Military War Pensions &c., Act. 1915. Town Hall, Liverpool. Dated 29th April 1919

Dear Sir.   MRS. BASFORD, 12, Dinorben Street, Liverpool. Widow of Pte. William BASFORD, No 23018, 2/5th K.L.R.

The above man was discharged from the Army on the 7th February 1916, with a Disability Pension of 27/6d per week.

He died on the 20th December 1918, of consumption.

No pension has yet been issued to his widow.   Would you kindly give the matter your immediate attention.

Yours faithfully D.W. CONN, pp. M.D.V.

Secretary, Widows & Dependents Sub-Committee,

Addressed to The Secretary, Ministry of Pensions, 45, Grosvenor Road, London, S.W.1.

Date stamped 1st May 1919

This entry on his Discharge papers, make me wonder if he was in Newport for treatment at a Sanitorium :-

Underneath was rubberstamped with a form – Dated 4th August 1917, This man’s present condition may be regarded for pension purposes as aggravated by (a) Service since declaration of War. Incapacity in the general labour market – Total

Above on Review of Case The Sanitorium Treatment.

I do hope that he will be remembered on this website, if not on any memorial


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