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David Bedford

Date of birth: 1886
Date of death: 1.9.1918
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Family information: Husband of Harriet Bedford nee Owen
Rank: Gunner
Service number: 12059

War Service

David enlisted early on in the war and, as he served in France from 30th December 1915, he earned the 14/15 Star as well as the Victory and British War Medals. He made it right through until two months before the end of the war when he was home on leave and was taken ill. He died on 1st September 1918 aged 33 and was buried at St Paul’s Alverthorpe on 5th September. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives the information that Gunner 12059 Royal Field Artillery “B” Battery 161st Brigade was the husband of H. Bedford of Wilson Hill Wrenthorpe. The Wakefield Express reported it as follows:
“A SOLDIER’S DEATH – David Bedford, Royal Field Artillery of Wilson Hill, Wrenthorpe, came home on leave from France a few days ago. Being taken ill, he was removed to Park Lane Military Hospital where he died on Sunday. He leaves a widow and four young children. Before enlisting he was a miner at Park Hill Colliery. There was a military funeral on Thursday”.
The obituary put in the Express on 14th September 1918 by his sister and brother-in-law Sarah E and Charles Colley, gave more detail about the cause of death saying it was “from the effects of gas poison received in France, aged 35 (sic)”.

Family Life

David was baptised at St Anne’s Church, Wrenthorpe on 16th January 1887 and was living at Bragg Lane End.
In 1891 David was living with his parents Alfred and Susannah (nee Hampshire) at Bragg Lane End, Wrenthorpe. He had an older sister Annie Elizabeth aged 7 and younger brother Ernest aged 8 months.
In 1901 David was still living at Bragg Lane End with his parents but Alfred’s wife was now Elizabeth Ann although I can find no death for a Susannah or marriage for Alfred. Next door was Mark Frost who also gave his life for the country. At 15, David was already a coal miner hewer and had three younger siblings still at home – Ernest (b1891), Alice Maud (b1897) and Elsie (b1900).
David married Harriet Owen on 24th August 1907 at St Anne’s Wrenthorpe. They were both aged 21 and from Wrenthorpe and David was a coal miner like his father Alfred.
In the 1911 census David was living with his aunt Ann Wild at Wheel Hill, Wrenthorpe whilst his wife Harriet and three children, Amy (3), Alfred (1) and Ernest (3 months) were living at Brinsworth, Rotherham. As the two youngest children were said to have been born in Brinsworth, perhaps David had gone there for work and then returned to Wrenthorpe but had not yet managed to find lodgings for the family. There was a further addition to the family in 1913 when Arthur was born.

a cemetery with gravestones. at the top of the hill is a church and some trees St Paul's Church, Alverthorpe

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