University of Oxford
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2499: The Ford Family, Rochdale, Lancs.

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posted on 2024-01-17, 10:53 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

Jack was conscripted in March 1917. Although he later claimed the government owed him a year's pension because his birth registration was a year late, it possibly saved his life. He trained as a machine gunner at Clipstone, Notts. When fitted out with a great coat he complained it was too large. NCO i/c was having none of it, retorting "it was a perfect bloody fit." This has become a family byword for ill-fitting garments. Recounted later how they "fished" for carp at Clipstone by throwing Mills bombs in the lake. Also related that the supper menu always listed "Cocoa and Chips." When Jack commented to OIC catering that there were never any chips he was told rather theatrically "Yes, but it rounds the menu off beautifully."

In 1918 he served as guard with German PoWs on Cannock Chase. "They were dying like flies of influenza." Jack recalled feeling helpless and unable to save them. There is a German war grave nearby. In 1919 he should have been sent to fight the Bolsheviks in Murmansk but a dock strike at Liverpool put paid to that venture.


Name of contributor(s)

John Ford (Grandson)

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

John (Jack) Ford, Machine Gun Corps.

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

1917 - 1919

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

Clipstone, Notts. Cannock Chase, Staffs.


332 Attestation document. 333 Soldier's Pay Book 334 Machine Gun Corps Trainee Gunners at Clipstone, Notts 1917 Jack back row second from left. 335 As above seated centre. 336 Jack with Vickers Machine Gun in firing position. 337 Machine Gun Corps "supporters" badge probably worn by his sister "Sissy."� 338 Machine Gun Corps identity wrist bracelet (rare?) 339 Aluminium tobacco case?

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The Lee, Buckinghamshire (23/02/19)

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