Herbert Edgar Ford is one of those people whose early life is destined to remain lost to time. His first names appears interchangeably on documents, with Herbert also being shortened to Bertie, but this means there is no definite trail to his early years.
He was born in Frome, Somerset, around the beginning of 1890, though nothing remains to suggest who his parents would have been. He married at the start of 1914, to local woman Ethel Mary Butler, and they went on to have a daughter, Doreen, at the end of the year.
By that point, war had been declared, and Herbert wanted to play his part. Full details of his military service are not available, but it is evident that he had enlisted in the Bedfordshire regiment by 1918. His troop – the 1st Garrison Battalion – were dispatched to India and were based in Delhi for the majority of the war, but it is unclear when or if Private Ford joined them.
Sadly, the next record for Private Ford is the notice of his death in the local newspaper. This confirms that he died on 16th April 1919 at Birmingham Hospital, “after a long and painful illness” [Somerset Standard: Friday 25th April 1919]. He was just 29 years of age.
Herbert Edgar Ford’s body was brought back to Somerset: he was laid to rest in the graveyard of Holy Trinity Church in his home town of Frome.