Private Samuel (Harry) Lund, Royal Army Medical Corps. Service number 115666.
Harry was born on 8th June 1892 at Slippery Ford, Oakworth. His father was Samuel Lund, a sheep farmer and his mother was Sarah Ann Berry who died in 1914. He had an older brother John Thomas and an older sister Elizabeth Ann. Their grandfather was Mr Thomas Berry, warp sizer, of Ellers Mill, Sutton.
In 1911, Sarah Ann and Elizabeth were living at West Lane; Sutton whilst Samuel (father) was at living in Laycock, Harry was living in Wakefield and John Thomas was at Braithwaite.
The family story goes that Harry had a fall from his bike one day, resulting in a shoulder injury that would have prevented him from using a rifle, so he would be unfit to serve with the infantry.
He enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps around 1916. On attestation for the army he was living at Long Eaton, near Nottingham in Derbyshire and he attested at Ilkeston, near to his home. He was then sent home to await the call up for service at a later date. We believe he received his call up papers sometime in September 1917 and very likely went on an Army training course in Liverpool early in October 1917. Along with several others, he joined the hospital ship Glenart Castle, a former passenger vessel, which had been converted for use in the war.
Keighley News report March 1918:
In a letter to Mr Laurence Preston dated February 24th, The Ellers, Sutton-in-Craven, Mr Lund stated that he had been transferred to the hospital ship Glenart Castle and that they were sailing on Tuesday last. He enlisted early in the war, and since his mother's death five years ago he has resided in Huddersfield. He served his apprenticeship with Mr Robert Petty, Crosshills. His name does not appear in the list of survivors.
The Glenart Castle a steamship built as 'Galacian' in 1900 for the Union-Castle Line, renamed Glenart Castle in 1914, was requisitioned for use as a British hospital ship. On February 26, 1918, she was hit and sunk by a torpedo from the German U-boat UC-56. Glenart Castle had left Cardiff on her way to France. She had passed into the Bristol Channel South of Lundy Island when she was hit at 03.57 by a torpedo in hold number three. The blast caused huge damage and the ship sank in about eight minutes. According to survivors, no SOS message had been sent as the dynamo had been put put of action and there was no opportunity to rig the emergency set.
Damage to the lifeboats, along with very cold, heavy seas and inexperienced passengers meant that over one hundred and sixty two of the ships complement of almost two hundred people died. Twenty-two survivors were picked up by a ship and taken to Swansea, and another nine survivors were found by an American destroyer and taken to Milford Haven, arriving almost sixteen hours after the sinking at 8.00 pm. Harry Lund was one of these nine survivors. He was unconscious with hypothermia and later died from heart failure, probably caused by cold and shock.
He was buried nine days later in grave 151, row E of Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery.
Harry was postumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.
He is named on Sutton War Memorial in Sutton Park as: 'Pte. S. Lund RAMC Att RND.
In 2010, Harry was the subject of a news feature on Yorkshire Television's Calendar News when several of the researchers into his story were interviewed along with a relative who had not previously been aware that Harry was commemorated on the Sutton war memorial. In 2010 this relative was able to attend at Sutton Park on Remembrance Day and laid a wreath to his memory. Not a dry eye in the place.
BMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 and 1911 England Census records
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Keighley News archives held at Keighley Library
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
National Archives - Admiralty reports from survivors on HS Glenart Castle.
Numerous volunteers from The Great War Forum - Team Harry helped to research Harry's story.