Samuel WOOD
Rank: Private
Number: 52750
Unit: 11th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 6 October 1916
Age: 23
Cemetery: Contay British Cemetery, Somme, France

At the time of the Great War, the Wood family lived at 6 Johnson Street, Stockport. Samuel lived there with his mother, sisters and brother, Will. His sweetheart, Alice, lived at 20 Westmintser Avenue, Reddish.

Samuel worked as a window cleaner until he enlisted into the army. His original service number, 4396, indicates he originally enlisted into the local Territorial Battalion - the 6th Cheshires - in the early part of 1916. In July 1916, a large group of newly trained troops, with service numbers similar to Samuel's original one, arrived in France, destined for the 6th Cheshires. However, due to the level of casualties suffered in the early days of the Battle of the Somme, a number were diverted to other units, including the 11th . Samuel was almost certainly one of the draft and would have been given the above new number at the time.

On 4 October, the Battalion relieved the 49th Canadian Battalion in Hessian Trench near the village of Aveluy in the heart of the Somme battlefield. The troops started to exchange positions at 6pm, but the moves had not been completed until 3.30am the following morning. The next day was spent deepening the front line and communication trenches. The Battalion's War Diary records that there was considerable enemy shelling of the communication trench. The 6th October was a quiet day and the Battalion was relieved by the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers during the evening.

Sometime during the two days, Samuel and Walter Burton had been seriously wounded. Samuel would have received immediate attention from the Battalion's medical officer. He was then evacuated to full military surgical facilities at either 9th or 42nd Casualty Clearing Station at Contay, some 15 kilometres behind the front line, where he died.

Will Wood is also known to have served in France and is believed to have survived the War.

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