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Samson Charles Gray

Samson Charles Gray with wife Margaret Annie Gray (Nee Brittle) about 1960

Samson was born 4th Feb 1887 in Kennington Lambeth which was then in Surrey. His Father was James Gray and his Mother was Emma Gray (nee Bagwell). Samson had an older brother who died before he was born called Wyndham Gray who died in 1884 3 years before Samson was born but he must have been aware of him as he called his first son Wyndham Philip Gray after him. Samson had three other younger brothers. Nathan David (AKA Dodger) brn 15th Feb 1889, Henry John brn 1893, James brn 1897. He also had 3 Sisters Phoebe brn 1900, Elizabeth Anna brn 1901 and Ellen brn 1903. In 1905 Samson joined the 6th Btn The Middlesex Regiment and undertook training and drill but purchased his discharge for £1 on 23rd April 1907. Before joining he had been working as a labourer in the Nine Elms Projectile works making explosives He married Margaret Annie Brittle (Annie) on Christmas day 1907. two months later their first child was born Ellen Annie (Nellie)14th Feb 1908, On June 28 1908 Samson’s Mother Emma died of Brights desease and exhaustion and the following month his Father James died in the Workhouse infirmary Brook street Kennington.

 When Samsons parents died he was married and working, His brother Nathan was 19 and Henry was 15 and were of working age but James was only 11, Phoebe was 8, Elizabeth was 7 and Ellen was just 5, As times were very hard there was nobody who could look after the 4 youngest and they were put into the care of the Lambeth Guardians (otherwise known as the workhouse). Phoebe was then sent to Dr. Barnardo’s at Barkingside and in 1911 was sent to Canada to start a new life, Elizabeth was sent to Barnardo’s a year later and sailed for Canada in September 1912. Ellen was also sent to Canada. Elizabeth and Ellen married and stayed in Canada but Phoebe after marrying in Canada returned to England and settled in Bury St Edmunds. James stayed at the workhouse until old enough to join the army and was in the Hussars   On Jan 4th 1910 Samson and Annie had another daughter Margaret Annie (Maggie) and in 1912 they had their First Son who they named Samson Charles but he died just months after being born. On 22nd May 1913 Wyndham Philip was born (My Father). On the 8th of March 1915 Samson re-enlisted and was sent to Gillingham. On 17th Feb 1916 he departed from Devonport on HT Olympic and arrived in Alexandria on 28th Feb 1916.


Samson at Warners Southley Holiday Camp about 1959

During his time in Egypt Samson is wounded in action and also contracts Malaria which recurs several times during his enlistment. On the 26th June 1919 he embarked from Alexandria on HT Empire for home

Samson in uniform

Above with baby is Margaret Annie Gray with Ellen 1908. Below Samson. To the right Samsons Mother Ellen Gray and to the left of Margaret Annie is her Mother and Father. Henry Francis and Sarah Ann Brittle

Above left Wyndham Philip Gray aged about 15 centre is Ellen (Nellie) Annie Gray about 19 and right Father Samson Charles Gray

Mick Grays Genealogy site

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On the 27th January 1944 17 died and 50 people were badly injured when a V2 Rocket fell on Usk Rd. Battersea S.W.11. Very close to where Sampson was living. The American canteen set up a mobile canteen for helpers. On the far left of the left hand Photo, having a break after helping, is Frances Lottie Gray and next to her is Gladys May Gray two of Samson’s daughters. The right hand photo shows two men gathering their possession’s amongst the devastation.

Far left of Photo is Frances Lottie Gray and next to her is Gladys May Gray

The left hand photo is another of Samson in Uniform in Egypt, He must have carried the right hand photo with him as he has had it embedded into the Photo, The right hand photo would have been in 1916 and shows Margaret Annie Gray Nee Brittle with her new daughter Francis Lotte Gray. Top right is Ellen (Nellie) Gray aged 8, Left is Margaret Gray aged 6 and bottom right is Wyndham Philip Gray aged 4. Annie must have sent Samson the photo of his family and he must have returned the one of him to Annie


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The Battersea Incident 1944

V2 Rocket falls on Usk Rd. Battersea