Samuel Poxon’s service remembered
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.