A Yorkshire Soldier of the Great War

Charles Henry Ford was born in Yorkshire in 1880 was listed as a domestic groom, one of ten servants named, in Malton in the 1901 census. He was at 84 Old Malton Gate, ‘The Lodge’. He is actually listed twice, once at work and once at his lodgings with several other servants.

He worked for the Hon. Geoffrey Nicholas Dawnay, [born Wykeham, brother to the Right Hon Hugh Richard Viscount Downe] and his wife Emily and young daughters. ‘The Lodge’ was owned by Mr Henry and Lady Mary Fitzwilliam who occupied it for many years before moving to Wignathorpe Hall, the estate which Lord Fitzwillam purchased for them in 1890. The Lodge was let to the Dawnays in 1891.

When he was 31, Charles married Rose and in 1913 their daughter Ida was born.

Charles enlisted in WWI in Leeds [Number 34065] and became a Private in 1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (the Prince of Wales’s Own). He died in Flanders on 14 February 1917 and is buried in Wimereux, France.

At this time Charles’ nephew Ron was 4 years old, but Ron was not told of his Uncle’s death and all of his life he thought his father Matthew only had sisters, not realising there had been brothers as well. However Ron had a vivid memory of his older brother Fred going off to war but luckily the war was over before Fred was sent overseas.

It was many kilometres from Yorkshire and many decades later when Ron’s daughter finally met her cousins, Ida and her family, in Australia.


References: Leeds Mercury 19 November 1891 and the website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission,



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