John Mitchell Ford

Date of birth: 30th March 1896
Place of birth: Boscombe, Dorset
Service No.: 460114
Rank: Private
Regiment: Manitoba Regiment / Canadian Infantry
Battalion: 27th
Died: 3rd July 1917 aged 21 years
Death location: Central Military Hospital, Fort Pitt, Chatham, Kent


Before the War
John was the fourth of 7 children born to parents John Michael Ford (28/07/1843 – 1899) and Agnes Jane Parker (1862 – 28/03/1918).  His father was born in Allahabad, Bengal, India.

John’s siblings – 4 sisters and 2 brothers – were:

Levi William (12/07/1887 – 16/03/1963)
Married Marjorie Frampton (20/11/1903 – 1989) in Southampton in 1928.
Levi enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 21st October 1901 and the 1911 census shows that he was stationed at the Royal Marine Barracks, Forton, Alverstoke.  He was awarded the 1914/1915 Star, the Victory and the British War Medals for service in the Royal Marine Light Infantry in WW1.

Mary Isabel, known as Isabel  (1891 – 04/05/1938)
Married Charles Nidd (1881)  in Christchurch in the 1st quarter 1911.
The census for this year shows that Isabel was living at 42 North Road, Boscombe with her mother Agnes, and sisters Annie and Dora.  Her husband was stationed at Christchurch Barracks Royal Home Artillery, Barrack Road, Christchurch, Dorset.  He was a gunner in ‘C’ Battery, Royal Horse and Field Artillery, service number 150187.


Henry James Ford

Henry James Ford

Henry James, later known has Harry (21/07/1894 – 11/02/1958)
Married Dorothy Nidd, sister of Charles Nidd, in about 1920 or 1921.
Henry, aged 11, sailed with his brother John from Liverpool on 3rd August 1905 aboard S S Dominion, en route to Canada.  They were in a party of Barnardo’s children and arrived in Quebec on 12th August 1905.
Dorothy sailed to Canada from Liverpool on 18th June 1920, aboard S S Minnedosa and arrived in Quebec on 27th June 1920.  The passenger list stated that her reason to go to Canada was ‘to marry H.J.Parker’.   The 1921 Canadian census form shows that they resided in Calgary and they were still living here when Henry passed away.
There is a Canadian Attestation Paper dated 30th August 1919 for Henry, service number 696975, which stated that he previously served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was discharged as medically unfit due to the amputation of his leg below the knee.


Gertrude Victoria (19/03/1897 – 1985)
Married Thomas Edwin Doswell (12/03/1895 – 1982)  in Southampton in July 1916.
The 1911 census shows that Gertrude was working as a domestic servant at 4 Glen Road, Boscombe.

Annie Louisa (1899)

Dora Emily (1900 – 1981)
Dora was working as a Red Cross Nurse, Voluntary Aid Detachment, when she married Private 56417 William Lawson Wallace (1894) on 14th June 1919.  He served in the 11th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force.  The marriage took place at St. Edmund’s Catholic Church, The Avenue, Southampton.  After the war, in May 1920,  William returned to Australia with his wife Dora and son Gordon, who was born in the 1st quarter of 1920.
William was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the Victory and British War Medals.
Dora married again in Queensland to Charles Parker, on 17th October 1931.  She passed away in 1981 and is buried in Bundaberg General Cemetery.

On the 1891 census John’s parents were living at 1 Purbeck Terrace, Bournemouth with Levi, aged 3.

When the 1901 census  was taken John’s mother was living at 42 Portman Road, Bournemouth, with his brother Levi and sisters Mary (later known as Isabel), Gertrude, Annie and Dora.

The 1911 census shows that John’s mother was living with her daughters Isabel, Annie and Dora at 42 North Road, Boscombe.

John, aged 9 years, sailed with his brother Henry from Liverpool on 3rd August 1905 aboard S S Dominion, en route to Canada.  They were in a party of Barnardo’s children and arrived in Quebec on 12th August 1905.  They sailed under the surname of their mother, Parker.  John later changed his name to Ford and this is the name which appeared on the 1911 Canadian census.  John was working as a Labourer in Manitoba.

It would appear that these photographs of John and Henry were taken in March 1900, which would make John 4 days short of his 4th birthday and Henry would have his 6th birthday 4 months later.


Military History
John was working as a Labourer when he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Winnipeg on 14th June 1915.

When he died on 3rd July 1917 he was serving in the 27th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry.  His mother’s address was 62 Romsey Road, Southampton.

On the Canada, CEF Commonwealth War Graves Register, it states that he died at the Central Military Hospital, Fort Pitt, Chatham and his death is recorded as ‘Death by Misadventure’, but no information can be found.

He was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal.UTW FORD, John Mitchell Private 460114

He is buried in Hollybrook Cemetery Southampton, Plot B. 1. Grave no. 113


The inscription reads:

460114 Private J M Ford

27th BN. Canadian Inf.

3rd July 1917, aged 21

Also our dear mother Agnes Jane Ford

Died March 28th 1918


Hollybrook Cemetery contains burials of both wars and a memorial to the missing.  In addition to the Commonwealth war graves, the cemetery contains 67 war graves of other nationalities, many of them German, of which 2 are unidentified.


Researcher: Jackie Chandler and with very grateful thanks to Pearl Ford who has provided valuable information and lovely photos.
Published: 1st October 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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