Private Samuel Andrews was killed on 28th May 1918 whilst serving with the 8th Battalion Machine Gun Corps. Born in Sutton Coldfield in 1887, Samuel was the third of the eight children (six sons, two daughters) of parents James (a coachman) and Maria (née Marshall).
The family moved from Sutton Coldfield to Timberley Cottage, Castle Bromwich sometime between 1901-1910. James Andrews died there in September 1910, aged 51.
Samuel, who was working as a gardener by 1901 when he was 13 years old, was not in Castle Bromwich with his mother and siblings at the time of the 1911 census. He was boarding at no. 27 Chequers Walk, Bath Row, Birmingham and was working as a horse keeper for an undertaker.
Samuel enlisted in the Army in August 1914, serving first of all with the Worcestershire Regiment, then being transferred to the Devonshire Regiment, before finally being transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, believed to be in late March/early April 1918.
In 1913, he married Sarah Beatrice Berry (known as Beatrice) at SS Peter & Paul’s Church, Aston. Their son, Samuel Kitchener James Andrews was born in Aston on 29th August 1914, shortly after his father joined the Army. At the time of the birth, the family was living at 1 Sheffield Villas, Aston Manor and Samuel’s occupation was listed as a Lance Corporal with 5th Battalion (Training), Worcestershire Regiment.
By the time of his daughter Edna Beatrice’s birth in April 1916, Samuel was recorded as serving with the 9th Battalion (Service), Worcestershire Regiment.
His youngest child, Alfred Leonard Andrews, was born on 6th February 1918, at which time Samuel was with the 2nd Devonshire Regiment (MGC). Information from a family member is that Samuel was on leave early in 1918 so did at least meet his youngest son.
Samuel was killed in action on 28th May 1918 during the German Spring Offensive at the Third Battle of the Aisne. He is buried at Chambrecy British Cemetery and is commemorated locally on Castle Bromwich war memorial.
Samuel’s widow, Sarah Beatrice, married James Hall in 1920.
Three of Samuel’s brother’s also served in the First World War:
- Alfred James Andrews (1886-1975) served in the Army Service Corps
- Edward (1892-1972) served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Richard (1896-1968) served in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and the Hampshire Regiment.
Samuel’s eldest son, Samuel Kitchener James Andrews (1914-1949), married Gladys Winifred Andrews (1914-1975) in Birmingham in 1936, and they had nine children. He worked as an external grinder and was enlisted to train as an air-gunner during the Second World War, but was discharged in 1944 as being medically unfit. He later died in Feb 1949, aged 34, of TB in West Heath Sanatorium and was buried in a pauper’s grave at Brandwood End Cemetery, Kings Heath. His 7th child, Patricia, also died of TB in Feb 1947, aged just 21 months.
Samuel Andrews’ daughter, Edna Beatrice Andrews (1916-1991), married Frederick Ernest Sinclair Chuter (1905-1967) in 1935 but, after receiving a telegram during the Second War advising that her husband was missing, believed killed, she suffered a breakdown from which she never recovered. Her husband actually returned safely from the war but Edna spent almost 50 years of her life in an institution.
The youngest of Samuel’s children, Alfred Leonard Andrews died in 1984, aged 66.
If you have any further information on the family, please let us know. Many thanks to Samuel Andrews’ great-grandson, Paul Littlehales, for supplying the photographs and additional information about the family.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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