Private Samuel Chew, 5th Battalion Berkshire Regiment, died of wounds on 17th September 1917. He was born in Birmingham in 1898 and was the youngest of the three children of parents, Richard (a hawker of salt) and Ada (née Wood). He had an older sister Annie (1893-1925) and an older brother, Richard (1895-1954).
It looks as if his mother, Annie, became too ill to care for him and he was admitted to Marston Green Cottage Homes on 16th August 1905. His mother was given as his next-of-kin, although it seems that she died, aged 42, between October-December 1905. By 1911, Samuel was still an inmate of the Cottage Homes, as was his 15-year-old brother, Richard. Their 18-year-old sister, Annie, was boarding in Birmingham and working as a hair-pin worker. She married Charles Hines in 1914 but died in 1925, aged 32.
Their father, Richard, was living in the Regis lodging house in New Canal Street at the time of the 1911 census and was described as single, aged 51, and a hawker. However, it seems that he was also in poor health. In June 1911, Richard was admitted to the Birmingham City Asylum, Lodge Road, Winson Green, where he died on 20th October 1911.
Samuel’s service record hasn’t survived but it doesn’t seem as if he saw any overseas service before 1916. He died of wounds on 17th September 1917 and his older sister, Mrs Annie Hines, was his next-of-kin.
He is buried at Monchy British Cemetery in France and is also commemorated locally on Marston Green Cottage Homes War Memorial.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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