WELLS, Samuel David

No.7745, Private, Samuel David WELLS
Aged 24

2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
Died of Illness at Sea on Wednesday, 15th September 1915

Although entered on the Brandon memorial as David S., he was Samuel David WELLS

Samuel David Wells was born in Santon Downham (Thetford Q3-1891 4B:381) son of Edward and Amelia WELLS (née FIELD).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at The Staunch House, Santon Downham with his father Edward WELLS [61] labourer born Whepstead; his mother Amelia [51] born Brandon; sister Rose [29] born Whepstead; brother John [12] born Santon Downham; cousin Irene W A WELLS [2] born Thetford.

1911 census...Aged 19, single, he was a private in the Norfolk Regiment, serving in India. His widowed mother was at Manor Farm House, Church End, Brandon with his brother John (farm labourer), sister Rose and cousin ALice (Irene). His father had died in 1910.

His Army paper show next of kin as father Edward, Church End, Brandon, brothers Arthur and John at Church End and Walter in Police Force in London
His Army "Personal Effects" entry shows legatees as brother Walter, sisters Alice BUTT, Violet, Mary Field BRAMFIELD and Nancy BASHAM.
When his mother completed the "living relatives" form on 22nd December 1919 she entered herself, father dead, brother Arthur [44] Gate house, Santon Downham, Walter [40] Ambrosden House, Ashley Gardens, London; sisters Rose WELLS [48] 3 Church End, Brandon, Nancy BASHAM [46] 14 Hall Lane, Lowestoft and Alice BUTT[42] 17 Trafalgar Road, Bournemouth.

His brother John was killed in Belgium in 1917 see here

click here to go to the Brandon at War website for more information

He attested in Brandon on 9th September 1908, reporting to the Norfolk Regiment depot in Norwich on the 11th. He gave his age as 18, a labourer born and living in Brandon. He was 5 feet 8.25 inches (173 cm )tall, weighed 135 lbs (61.4 kg), chest 33" to 35" (83.8 to 88.9 cm) , brown eyes and hair, Church of England. He gave his next of kin as father Edward, brothers Arthur and John, all of Church End Brandon and Walter in London as a policeman.
Initially posted to the 1st battalion, be moved to the 2nd battalion on 8th February 1911 as he moved to India. He remained in India until 5th November 1914. He was an acting bandsman and a promising clarinet player.
The battalion then moved to Mesopotamia. While there he was laid low by fever and weakness in his legs. From a Field Ambulance in Amara he was admitted to General Hospital in Basra on 9th August 1915. Beri beri was diagnosed and he was evacuated on the Hospital Ship "Madras" (previously SS "Tanda") to India. On the voyage he died and was buried at sea, hence he is commemorated on the Chatsby Memorial in Alexandria.

SS Tanda - HMHS Madras (1914-1919)

Samuel Wells is commemorated on the Chatby memorial, Alexandria, Egypt

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details