Born: 23rd May 1885, London.
Died: 26th September 1917; 32; KiA.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 28th October 1915 – France.
Rank: Sergeant: Service Number: 200980.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.
Formerly 3421, Suffolk Regiment.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.
1891 37, Lisson Street, Marylebone, Middlesex.
Mark was 6 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Robert Henry Ford, 40, a Paper Hanger, born Marylebone.
Emily Ford (nee Hutchings), 39, born Marylebone.
Robert Henry Ford, 14, an Errand Boy, born Marylebone.
Lilian Alice Ford, 4, born Marylebone.
1901 205, Droop Street, Paddington, Middlesex.
Mark was 16 years old, a Meat Porter. He was living with his parents & sister.
Robert, 50. a Paper Hanger & Painter.
1911 Moors Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk.
Mark was 26 years old, a Cook to Colony – Hollesley Bay. He was married and Head of the Household.
Mark’s father, Robert Henry Ford, died May 1901, of 3, York Terrace, High Street, Clapham, Surrey.
On the 6th January 1890, at the age of 4, Mark started to attend Bell Street School, Westminster. His father Robert Ford was the responsible adult. The family lived at 37, Lisson Street.
In 1904, Paddington, Middlesex, Mark married, Alice Winifred Matthews, born September1886, Paddington. They had 6 children:
Winifred Alice Ford, born 1905, Lambeth.
John Wilfred Ford, born 1905, Lambeth.
Ena Beatrice Ford, 1907, Lambeth.
Walter James Ford, born 1910, Hollesley, Suffolk.
Evelyn M. Ford, born 1911, Hollesley.
Elsie L. Ford, born 1913, Hollesley.
Soldiers’ Effects to Alice W. Ford – widow.
Mark is also remembered on the Orwell Works Memorial Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Ipswich.
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.
The Battle of Polygon Wood took place during the second phase of the Third Battle of Ypres in World War I and was fought near Ypres in Belgium 26 September – 3 October 1917, in the area from the Menin Road to Polygon Wood and thence north, to the area beyond St Julien. Much of the woodland had been destroyed by the huge quantity of shellfire from both sides since 16 July and the area had changed hands several times
The British had 15,375 casualties; 1,215 being killed. German official historians recorded 13,500 casualties from 21–30 September
The 4th Australian Division suffered 1,717 casualties and the 5th Australian Division had 5,471 dead and wounded from 26–28 September.
26th September 1917
In the area of Bellegoed farm near Reningheltst the 4th Battalion taking up positions in the support trenches under heavy shelling from the 23rd– 25th September waited as the Germans attacked the frontline trenches gaining a foothold repelling counter attacks from the British. On the afternoon of the 25th the 2nd Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders and “B” company 4th Suffolk’s under intense shell fire recaptured the frontline battered trench sustaining many casualties.
Just after midnight the Battalion took up an attacking line between Glencorse wood to FitzClarence farm, collecting “B” company. The moon had gone into the clouds and the shelling increased with mist rising, the visibility became worse with the troops unable get to their positions in time for the attack. By 05:45 the order for advance given, men were ordered to link hands so not to get separated in the darkness. The advance came under a heavy barrage, despite the poor terrain the attack made some progress capturing two machine guns and 15 prisoners and all of the planned objectives were taken by the division. By the evening of the 27th the Battalion had returned to Bellegoed farm having sustained 265 casualties.