Purday S.E.

Sapper S.E. Purday  Service number 1907 royal engineers signals

Regiment Royal Engineers

Date of birth 1894

Date of death 2nd December 1915

Age at death 21 years


His Story

PURDAY, Samuel Esau.   1894 – 2nd December 1915

 Samuel Esau was born in 1894 at Leyton, the eldest son of Samuel Esau Purday, a plumber and his wife Nancy Finch who married on 25th December 1890 at Highbury, North London.   The 1911 census for 179 Dawlish Road, Leyton, reveals this couple had been married for 21 years and had produced 10 children (3 sons and 7 girls) ranging in age from 20 to 1.   Samuel Esau Jnr. is 17 and has followed in his father’s profession and is shown as a plumber’s mate.

At St. Mark’s church, Victoria Park on 15th July 1914 Samuel married Florence Alice Lock, a 20 year old spinster of 173 Armagh Road, Bow, daughter of Frederick a boot maker.   Samuel was 22, a hot water fitter of 516 Old Ford Road, son of Samuel with the same occupation.   The witnesses were Henry Charles Turner and Maud Carrey Lock [bride’s sister].

In 1915? Samuel enlisted at Victoria Park for the Royal Engineers as Sapper No. 1907 with the 2nd/1st London Field Company.  He died aged 23 on 2nd December 1915 having served with his regiment at ‘Home’ and his death was registered at Ipswich.   On 25th June 1919 his widow Florence was awarded a £4.6s.5d. gratuity.

PURDAY, Samuel Esau.   c.1870–1930 aged 60

His father also named Samuel Esau saw service in WW1.   In 1915 he was living at 136 Frith Road, Leyton with his wife and 6 younger children.  Aged 45 Samuel was part of the British Expeditionary Force and joined the Royal Army Service Corps on 27th August 1915 as Private 15881 where he was attached to the 51st Artizan Works Company.   He arrived in Havre on 13th September 1915 having left Southampton the previous day on board the SS “Atalanta”.   On 5th November 1916 he was transferred to the Royal Engineers 51st Artizan Works Company as Sapper Plumber ‘Superior’ No. 206318.

Samuel was transferred to the Army Reserve on 28th April 1919 aged 48 now living at 26 Edith Road, New Town, Stratford, E.15.   He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals.  Unlike his son, Samuel survived the war eventually dying in 1930 aged 60.

PURDAY, Alfred Ladbrook.   1886 – 1965 aged 80

Another Purday to serve in WW1 was Samuel Snr’s younger brother Alfred Ladbrook Purday who was born in 1886.   He had married Louisa Sarah Noakes on 19th May 1907 at Victoria Park, the daughter of William and Ada Noakes and was the father of 3 children born between 1908 and 1910.   Twins were born in 1916.

He joined the Wiltshire Regiment at Leyton on 7th September 1914 as Private 12737 aged 29 and travelled to Devizes the next day.  Alfred transferred to the Dublin Fusiliers, 17th Battalion as No. 14955 on 17th September 1914 but on 15th February 1915 was transferred to the 4th Battalion.  On 25th July 1915 he was part of the 1st Expeditionary Force (Mediterranean).   He then returned to the U.K.  until 13th March 1916 when he then joined the 6th E.F. (Med) on 14th March 1916.   From 15th January to 2nd July 1918 he was part of the Egyptian Force in the Middle East.

He was demobilised on 23rd February 1919 at Dublin giving his home address as 5 Spring Street, Old Ford, Bow.   He did not receive any war wounds but claimed a disability due to malaria and received 7s.6d. a week for 70 weeks.    He was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals.   Alfred died in 1965 aged 80.

PURDAY, Henry.   July, 1874 – aft. 1917

He was the brother of Samuel Esau and Alfred Ladbrook Purdey.   He married at Leyton on 13th October 1895 Ada Eliza Parker and the witnesses were Henry and Rose Purday.   He was a gas fitter before joining the army.

From 22nd June 1897 (at the age of 22 years and 11 months) until 21st June 1909 he was with the Royal Engineers, as Sapper 992, which included 2 years spent in South Africa involved in the Boer War where he was present at the Relief of Kimberley and received the 1799-1902 Queen’s medal with 3 clasps and the 1901-02  King’s medal with 2 Clasps.   His intended place of residence was shown as 25 Braemar Road, South Tottenham but he then re-enlisted on 3rd August 1909 and served until 2nd August 1913.

He attested for the King’s Royal Rifles (Rifleman 1157) on 21st August 1914 and then later transferred to the 2nd/5th Bedfordshire regiment No. 46900 until 24th December 1917, a total of 3 years 126 days at ‘Home’.

Henry was in Winchester Hospital for 49 days between March and May 1915 due to a septic wound to his arm and then sent to a convalescent home in Lymington.   On 21st May 1915 he was temporarily released for employment with Liquid Purification Co. (Stringer & Jagger of Skelmanthorpe, Yorkshire) until 29th February 1916.

He was issued with a Silver War Badge on 18th December 1917 aged 43 when a member of the 2nd/5th Bedfordshire regiment.   On 24th December 1917 he was discharged at Warley for no longer physically fit for war service.   He received a war gratuity of £45 sent to him at 188 Leyton Road, Stratford.