This blog post has been contributed by one of our volunteers, Ann Eales.
Information about Samuel Rice appears in the Midland Counties Express edition of 25th November 1916. He was in the Worcestershire Regiment, his mother lived at 4 Ashland Street, off Brickkiln Street, and his wife and two children were living in Coventry. He had been reported wounded and missing on 23 Sep 1915, and it was later confirmed that he was killed in action, at the age of 32. He had attended Dudley Road Council Schools.
The CWGC records:
Rank: Serjeant (sic)
Service No: 8952
Date of Death: 26/09/1915
Regiment/Service: Worcestershire Regiment 2nd Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 64 and 65.
Memorial: LOOS MEMORIAL
Army Records for Samuel Rice include a Short Service Attestation Form showing that he was born in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, and that he was a blacksmith by trade. He answered the question “Have you ever been sentenced to Imprisonment by the Civil Power?” with “Yes, For Fighting (as a lad)”. This Form was completed at Lichfield in December 1904. On 1.12.1910 he was Promoted Corporal. A Medical History Form shows that he embarked on the SS Dunera for Ceylon on 3rd November 1905, and then went on to Ahmednagar (India) where he had treatment for “blow on ?ear not serious” 17th to 21st March 1907 and “tonsillitis” from 5th to 22nd May 1907. He was in Jhansi in 1909. On 4th April 1912 he was transferred to the Army Reserve. He was Home from 4.4.1912 to 10.09.914 when he was mobilised. He was wounded in action at Riche? 13.05.1915. His marriage to Amy Louisa Walker at Coventry Register Office on 13th May 1913 is included in the Army records. A receipt for his 1914 Star was signed by Amy L Rice July 14th 1919.
Samuel Rice was baptised at St Andrews Church Wolverhampton on 13th July 1883. His parents William Henry Rice Labourer and Emma, were living at Great Hampton Street. The birth was registered at Wolverhampton in the 3rd quarter of 1833.
At the time of the 1891 England Census Samuel Rice age 8 Scholar was living at 14 Short Street St Peter Wolverhampton, with his parents William Henry Rice age 53 Occupation Bricklayers Labourer born Coventry and Florence Emily Rice age 39 and his 5 siblings William Henry age 18.a Tinplate Worker Mary Ann age 16, a General Servant (Domestic) Charlotte L Rice age 14, Thomas Rice age 11 Scholar and Harry Rice age 1. Apart from William Henry Senior. all family members were born at Wolverhampton.
On the 1901 Census return the family are shown living at 22, Graizley Row, Wolverhampton. Henry age 62 is a Market Hall Labourer, his wife, now recorded as Emma, age 48, is a Grocer’s Shop Keeper, and the 3 other members of the household are Thomas age 20 a Steel Toy Maker, Samuel now age 17 and a Labourer In Iron Works, and Harry age 11.
Samuel Rice age 27 is recorded on the 1911 census under County: Military Military Unit: 2nd Bn The Worcestershire Regiment Enumeration District: India. His Widowed Mother recorded as Emily Rice age 60, was now living at 8 Vauxhall Terrace East St Coventry, with Samuel’s brother Harry Rice age 21, occupation Ironworker, and Nebo Ellis, and his wife Mary, born in Dudley. The household included the couple’s 6 children.
The marriage of Samuel Rice to Amy L Walker was recorded at Coventry in the quarter ended June 1913. A FreeBMD search between 1911 and 1916 traced the birth of one child registered at Coventry, Mother’s surname Walker. Sydney Rice’s birth was registered in the quarter to September 1913.