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wellsms

William Wells - d 18th February 1921

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wellsms

I would appreciate guidance on my Grandfathers case for being recognised as dying of the effects of war service and therefore recorded by the CWGC.

549 Private William Wells served in the RAMC with the 2nd/2nd East Lancs Field Ambulance and caught TB whilst serving in the UK as a Nursing Orderly before the unit went overseas. He was discharged from the Army on 20th November 1916 "in consequence of being medically unfit for further service Para 392 XVI KR" and was awarded a SWB (number 115060). The certificate notifying of the SWB award is dated 11th Jan 1917.

His Character Certificate indicates the same cause of discharge.

William died on the 18th February 1921 and was buried on the 21st February in St Johns Cemetery, Padiham. The gravestone is still easily found and in good condition, it also records the buirial of his wife and daughter... who both lived until they were 94.

His Obituary in the Burnley Express read:

PADIHAM EX-SOLDIERS DEATH - The death took place at Burnley Infirmary, after a long illness, of Mr. Wm. Wells, aged 39 years, whose home is at 5 Cotton Street, Padiham Green. Prior to the war he was a moulder. He served during the war in the R.A.M.C., but unfortunately contracted tuberculosis, and has not been able to follow any occupation since. Deceased had been a member of the local War Pensions Committee since its formation, and had represented the district on the Central Committee. He was one of the founders of the discharged soldier’s movement in Padiham, and was connected with the Comrades’ Club and the Irish National League Club. He leaves a widow and six children. The funeral took place on Wednesday at Padiham public cemetery.

Family history reports that he caught TB from the soldiers he was nursing, but I can find nothing official to confirm or deny this.

thanks in advance for any guidance

regards

Mike

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Terry Denham

Mike

You will have to prove that his cause of death was attributable to his service.

If you have documentary proof that he was discharged due to the same disease which is listed on his death certificate as causing his death, you could have a case. You do not say what his cause of death is given as on his death certificate.

You will have to be careful with this one though as he died over four years after discharge. There will have to be a strong proven connection in the documentation.

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wellsms

Terry,

Many thanks for the reply. Williams death certificate does list tuberculosis as the reason for death but does not say how it was caught... it would be unusual if it did in my experience. None of the official Army paperwork I currently have lists his sickness. It's just the obit that links it to his Army service at present, so I have some more digging to do yet.

Thanks again

Kind regards

Mike

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centurion

I suspect that your problem will be proving that he caught it from patients as it was still a very prevalent disease at the time and could have a significant incubation period.

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John Morcombe

You need to show the cause of discharge as TB, from his service/discharge papers. Otherwise you are on thin ice.

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wellsms

Thanks Centurion and John...... I think this is where the challenge will be. A search for his service papers turned up nothing, and as he never served overseas other paperwork is limited.....

I will keep looking though.

thanks

Mike

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