Ledgerwood, Samuel Hugh (Samuel)
No. 18079, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 23)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
Brother of Rifleman John Ledgerwood (No. 18/1284)
Samuel Hugh Ledgerwood was the first of two brothers to die on active service in the Great War. However, official confirmation that Samuel Hugh must be presumed to have been killed in action did not reach his family until after they heard officially that his brother John had died of wounds.
Samuel Hugh Ledgerwood was born on 11 May 1893 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William John and Agnes Ledgerwood (nee Brown, sometimes Dunn) who were married on 22 May 1875 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). William Ledgerwood from East Street, Newtownards was a son of John Ledgerwood, a labourer. Agnes Brown from East Street, Newtownards was a daughter of William Brown, a weaver.
The Ledgerwood family lived in Newtownards, in East Street, Little Francis Street, Windmill Street and at 11 Upper Court Street.
William Ledgerwood worked as a wool weaver and he and Agnes had seven children:
Hugh (born 18 February 1876 in East Street, Newtownards; died 11 May 1887)
Letitia McKee (born 5 June 1878 in East Street, Newtownards)
Mary McKee (born 8 July 1881 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)
John (born 9 May 1884 in Windmill Street, Newtownards)
Agnes (born 12 April 1887 in East Street, Newtownards)
Margaret (Maggie, born 16 August 1889 in East Street, Newtownards)
Samuel Hugh (born 11 May 1893 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)
Their father William died of cancer on 25 March 1913 (aged 55)
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Samuel Hugh Ledgerwood worked as a cotton weaver. He enlisted in Newtownards and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
Rifleman Samuel Hugh Ledgerwood was posted as missing in action after the first day of the Battle of the Somme and his family in Newtownards anxiously awaited further news. Some four weeks after Samuel’s brother John died of wounds on 6 January 1917 it was officially confirmed that Samuel must be presumed to have been killed in action.
The Ledgerwood family placed a series of four For King and Country notices in the 10 February 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and the one from his widowed mother Agnes and his sister Maggie contained the verse:
I often think of days gone by,
When we were all together;
A shadow o’er our life is cast,
Two loved sons gone for ever.
Friends may forget them, but mother will never,
They will dwell in our hearts till life’s journey is done;
Lord, teach us to live, that when our days are ended,
We’ll be met at the gates by our dear hero sons.’
The notice from his widowed sister Mary Warden of 34 Upper Movilla Street contained the verse:
Now a sister’s heart is aching
For two brothers she loved so well;
They gave their life for their country,
In honour’s cause they fell.
The notice from his sister Agnes and brother-in-law James McClean of 5 Lower Mary Street contained the verse:
One by one the links are slipping,
One bu one our heroes fall,
And my two loving brothers
Have answered the great roll call.
The notice from his sister Letitia and brother-in-law Private John Dogherty (on active service) of 51 Pound Street, Newtownards contained the verse:
Somewhere in France a volley rings,
A bugle sounds farewell;
Two wooden crosses and passing flowers
Mark where both my dear brothers fell.
Rifleman Samuel Hugh Ledgerwood was 23 when he died, he has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).