Thomas Ford

John William Frost

Personal Details

Thomas Arthur Ford, born in Fauls, Prees, Shropshire in 1879, the second son of John and Mary Ford.

Husband to Mrs C Ford (his second wife) of 231 Bree Street, Johannesburg, South Africa. Father to three children by his first wife in South Africa and posthumously to a child by his second wife.

Thomas was on the SS Mendi with the last contingent of the South African Native Labour Corp soldiers to sail to the United Kingdom to join the Great War. The SS Mendi was struck in thick fog off the Isle of Wight by the SS Darro resulting in a loss of 646 lives, including Thomas. The last Census within which we can trace Thomas is in 1891, so we presume he emigrated to South Africa prior to 1901.

He was apprenticed to John Rogers, blacksmith, in Fauls Green, Shropshire.

Military Details

Regiment : ‘C’ Company, 5th Battalion South African Native Labour Corps
Rank : Colour Sergeant
Service Number : 247

Died at sea; Off the UK 21 February 1917 Aged 38

Medals and Awards
We can find no trace of Thomas being awarded campaign medals, probably because he did not see action. However we know his family in South Africa are in possession of his medals, but we are unaware which these are.

Further Information

If you can provide any further information on Thomas Arthur Ford please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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