The Fallen of Ewhurst and Ellen's Green, Surrey  
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  Samuel James Randell 

Sergeant SE/7503

Royal Army Veterinary Corps, attached to the XCV Brigade Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action 01/10/1915, aged 32

Buried in Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France (IV.N.6.)

Remembered on :
Ewhurst War Memorial,  Memorial Plaque and Book of Remembrance



SAMUEL JAMES RANDELL (1) was born in Ewhurst in June 1883, the son of George,  a farm bailiff who was formerly a police constable and Mary Jane (2,6), and younger brother to George (junior b1871), Arthur William (b1873), Emily (b1873), Charlotte (b1876) and Sarah (b1881) (3).

The family lived on Westland Farm in Ewhurst in 1891, and by 1901 Samuel had left the village and was boarding, aged 17, in North Street, Winkfield, Berkshire, where he was a groom and a domestic servant (4).

In December 1910 the marriage of Samuel to Rose Juniper, daughter of James and Ellen Juniper of Keymer in Sussex, was registered in Cuckfield in Sussex. Samuel was 27 years old and Rose was 23 years old. By 1914, George and William Randell are noted in the Electoral Role of Ewhurst as living in Mascalls Cottages.

With the commencement of the First World War, Samuel enlisted in Brighton (5) and became Private SE/7503 in the Army Veterinary Corps (which became the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 1918). The prefix of SE to Samuel's service number indicates that he was a member of the RAVC's 9th Section, which was part of the 21st Division, which arrived in France in September 1915.

Samuel arrived in France on 10th September 1915 and was attached to the XCV (or 95th) Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. XCV Brigade would have been comprised of eighteen 18-pounder field guns, each drawn by six horses, and an ammunition supply column which also relied upon horses for transportation.

The Mk1 18-pounder field gun formed the mainstay of the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War. It fired a 3.3 inch (84mm) shell weighing 18.5lbs (8.4kgs) to a maximum range of 6,525 yards (6km). Time of flight of the shell was just over 12 seconds. This range placed the guns well within the range of German counter battery fire.

The 21st Division, following a march from their port of disembarkation, found themselves immediately thrown into the Battle of Loos. They arrived in reserve on the first day of the battle, the 25th September 1915, and were committed to action the following day.

It is likely that, as the 21st's Divisional Artillery was a valuable commodity on the battlefield during a major engagement, XCV Brigade would had remained in action behind and in support of the front line for prolonged periods. Their main danger during these periods would have been presented by German counter battery and harassment artillery fire, where the likely artillery positions in the British rear areas were shelled in the attempt of destroying or disrupting supplies and support to the front.

On 1st October 1915 Samuel Randall, now a Sergeant, was killed in action. He was laid to rest in plot IV.N.6 of  Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Samuel was posthumously awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Samuel's death was noted in the Surrey Advertiser on 9th October 1915.

Following the war, his widow, Rose, re-married and became Rose Jones, of 27 Terminus Road, Brighton.


Follow this Link to details about First World War Medals


(1) Samuel James Randell was born in Ewhurst in 1883. The Family name is varied through census returns and military records  as Randall and Randell. It is likely that Randell is the correct spelling. The CWGC site notes Samuel and his parents incorrectly as Randall, as does Samuels Medal Record Card.
(2) Marriage registered in Guildford in June 1870, formerly Mary Jane Spencer.
(3) 1881 Census the family, living in Ewhurst village, are known as Randell, 1891 Census as Randall
(4) In 1901 Census Samuel is referred to as Randell.
Soldiers Died in the Great War
(6) The CWGC Register notes "son of George and Annie Randall, of Ewhurst, Surrey"
. It is unknown why Samuel's mother's name is given as Annie.


Other sources:

  • Book of Remembrance

  • Soldiers Died in the Great War

  • 1881, 1891, 1901 Census

  • BDM



Andrew Bailey, Ewhurst, Surrey