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  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of Walter Ford
Person Details
Wadworth, Yorkshire
Thomas Ford and Elizabeth Pask were a Lincolnshire born couple who married in 1884. They started their married life in Knaith (Thomas’s birth town) where they had two children, John and Annie. Thomas was a horseman and probably moved to Wadworth, Yorks for work of that nature, where Walter was born in 1890 and Alice in 1892. From 1893 to 1896 they lived in Thurnscoe where William and Emily were born. Their final move to Mattersey was in 1896/7 followed by two more children, Fred and Edith. By 1911 the Ford household at Mattersey contained parents Thomas and Elizabeth with offspring Edith, who was at school, Fred a farm labourer and Walter who was working in the local fork manufacturing works.
14 Aug 1917
89617 - CWGC Website
14th Coy Machine Gun Corps
Walter enlisted at Retford and may have initially served with the Notts and Derby Regt. No. 57778 before joining the Machine Gun Corps. He died of wounds received and was buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium 2.H.3 Pte Walter Ford Retford Times 7 Sept 1917 Mr and Mrs Thos. Ford of Mattersey Hill, recently the sad news that their son, Pte Walter Ford, had made the great sacrifice. The first intimation was forwarded by a comrade. This was quickly followed by an account by the chaplain who conducted the burial service and later came the official notice. Pte H W Hall, one of the deceased’s comrades write:- “Sorry to have to inform you of the loss of your beloved son, Walter, who was killed through the effect of a shell going into a billet where Walter was staying. The billet is about six miles behind the lines and from the information I can gather, the men were just having tea. The sad part of the whole thing was that the section had just moved up the line and Walter and several others were left behind this time for a rest. He was very much liked by the section and was a plucky chap. He gave me his home address some months ago and it was his wish for me to write home if ever anything happened. I did not see him as I was in the trenches at the time. I sympathise with all the family. It was on the 15/8/17 that it happened.” The chaplain writes:- I was the clergyman at the sad end of your son’s funeral at which several officers and many men attended to pay the last tribute to their comrade, W Ford 60762. He died of wounds of a shell burst on the 14th. I was not up in the line at the time. All speak highly of your son and he will be greatly missed. I hope you will never think of him (as we say) “dead” but as alive more truly because has he not passed out of this little span of life to that which has no more ‘death’ to experience – no more tears or sorrow or tribulation. Many give up for a great cause but no one can give more than himself to the uttermost – his absolute all in this life and therefore we think of those who made the great sacrifice as a noble cause very dear to Christ Himself. For He died to set us free from the domain and thrall of the Evil One and these men and lads are dying to keep the world free in another sense. I can only ask of God that He will comfort you and yours with much grace and consolation and hope in Him - and for us who are spared at home and here that we may improve ourselves more worthy of the great freedom won for us – both by Him and our lads. That would be the disaster indeed – if this awful sacrifice of life proved to be in vain. With very sincere sympathy in which all your son’s chums would wish to join me, I know for your loss is theirs too.” Prior to enlistment on 2nd Aug 1916, Pte Ford was employed by Messrs Skinner and Johnson, Ranskill and had almost completed 14 years in their employ. He would have been 28 years of age had he lived until October next and he may justly be claimed a Mattersey “lad” seeing as he had resided in the village since he was five years old, his father first coming to Mattersey Hill Farm with Mr W A Ellis and then continuing to do duty for Mr W Antcliffe. Pte W Ford received his education in the village school, and later associated himself with most things in Mattersey. He was a member of the All Saints’ Church choir, and possessed an excellent bass voice. He was a keen sportsman and a billiard player of more than average ability .It is a remarkable coincidence that of the five men (including deceased) who were co-workers at the Ranskill Spade and Forks Works, and who joined the Army on the same date, four should have been unfortunate in either being wounded of killed, in spite of the fact that no two joined the same regiment. The deceased was first attached to the Notts and Derby Regt but was transferred to the Machin Gun Corps and eventually became No. ! gunner, being sent to France on Nov 25th of last year. His loss is keenly felt by the bereaved parents and family and many expressions of sympathy have been received by them.In addition to the deceased, two other sons are “doing their bit” one on foreign service and the other on training in England.
CWG additional information:- Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Ford, of Mattersey Hill, Bawtry, Doncaster. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on


  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of Walter Ford
    Walter Ford - This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of Walter Ford
  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Walter Ford - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle