Sa­muel Poxon’s ser­vice re­mem­bered

The Drumheller Mail - - REMEMBRANCE DAY - Patrick Ko­lafa

Remembrance Day is a time to take a mo­ment to re­mem­ber those who gave their lives for our coun­try and our free­dom. While this gen­er­a­tion is grate­ful it has not seen con­flict on the scale of the wars in Europe or the East­ern front, sadly the sto­ries of those who sac­ri­ficed mean less and less in their daily lives.

It is when we stum­ble on a story or a me­mento of these peo­ple, it piques our cu­rios­ity. In this case, it is the dis­cov­ery of a war hero’s medals.

Sam Poxon was just four years in Canada when he vol­un­teered for mil­i­tary ser­vice in World War 1.

Poxon was born in 1884 in Den­aby, York­shire and was the son of Eli and Sarah Poxon. He mar­ried Ellen Ann Dob­son in 1907, and em­i­grated to Car­bon, Al­berta in 1912.

When Poxon came to Car­bon, he went to work in the Black Di­a­mond Coal Mine with his brother Wil­fred. Shortly af­ter, their daugh­ter Vera was born, and the fam­ily moved to Coal Creek, near Fernie, B.C. where he con­tin­ued to mine. He spent time in Cal­gary train­ing. His at­tes­ta­tion pa­pers were signed in Van­cou­ver, B.C. on May 13, 1916. At­tes­ta­tion pa­pers are com­pleted by en­listed of­fi­cers and are a for­mal doc­u­ment cer­ti­fy­ing the re­cruit is fit or un­fit for duty.

He joined the Cana­dian Army Med­i­cal Corps in the 13th Field Am­bu­lance Di­vi­sion. He was a cor­po­ral. He left Canada from Mon­treal on June 1, 1916, and ar­rived in Liver­pool on July 10. He pro­ceeded to ser­vice over­seas on Au­gust 12.

Lit­tle is known about Sam’s ser­vice over­seas. He was an am­bu­lance driver and on Septem­ber 3, 1917, he was awarded the Mil­i­tary Medal. The Mil­i­tary Medal is awarded to War­rant Of­fi­cers, Non-Com­mis­sioned Of­fi­cers and men for in­di­vid­ual or as­so­ci­ated acts of brav­ery on the rec­om­men­da­tion of a Com­man­der-in-Chief in the field. A sil­ver, lau­relled bar is awarded for a sub­se­quent act or acts of brav­ery and de­vo­tion un­der fire.

Ac­cord­ing to a Poxon fam­ily his­tory on­line, he was granted a one week leave af­ter he was awarded the medal, and he went to Adling­ton, Eng­land to visit. He was killed three weeks later at Ypres, Bel­gium. He is buried at Brand­hoek New Mil­i­tary Ceme­tery No. 3 in Bel­gium.

Ac­cord­ing to the book, Car­bon, Our His­tory, Our Her­itage, his wife Ellen left Car­bon with her fam­ily and moved back to Eng­land af­ter the war, but within a year they were back in Car­bon. Their el­dest son Alex never mar­ried, and youngest son Sam mar­ried Vi­vian Duk­low and they lived all over Canada and France dur­ing his ca­reer with the air force.

Their daugh­ter Vera mar­ried Cyril Oliphant. They had a son Gerry and daugh­ters, Pat and Sharon.

Adling­ton, Lan­cashire, Eng­land War Me­mo­rial

World War I medals be­long­ing to Sa­muel Poxon. Bri­tish War Medal, left, Vic­tory medal, right, and the Me­mo­rial Cross (Sil­ver Cross), above. The Mil­i­tary Medal is not pic­tured.

Me­mo­rial in Adling­ton, Lan­cashire, Eng­land where Sam Poxon’s name is listed as a sol­dier who fell. The in­scrip­tion on the me­mo­rial says “IN GRATE­FUL REMEMBRANCE OF THE MEN FROM ADLING­TON AND DIS­TRICT WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918. TELL BRI­TAIN YE WHO MARK THIS MONUMENT FAITH­FUL TO HER WE FELL AND REST CON­TENT WWII/1939 - 1945.

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