TOYNE, Samuel

Private Samuel Toyne
90772 4th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)

Samuel Toyne was born in 1889 at Pye Hill, son of George Alfred Toyne a colliery horse keeper of Nottingham and his wife Emma (nee Smith) born Pinxton. Samuel had brothers and sisters Mary Ann, Thomas Alfred, George and William Andrew. The family moved to Pye Hill in the late 1880’s but had previously lived at Pinxton and Selston. In 1911 they were living at 52, Pye Hill with their widowed father George. Their mother Emma had died in 1901 and is buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s. There had been 7 children of the marriage but by 1911 only 5 had survived, eldest sister Mary Ann kept house for her father and brothers, Thomas being employed as a miner/hewer, Samuel as a brickyard labourer, George as a miner/hewer and William as a colliery banksman, above ground.

Samuel volunteered for the Army in December 1915 at Mansfield but remained in the reserve, not being called up until 28th July 1917. His father George had died just a month before in June 1917 and is buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s.  After only being in the Army for a few short months on 10th October 1917 Samuel was called before the medical board. The medical revealed that he had flat feet, varicocele and also that he was ‘mentally slow’. Further questioning soon revealed a tragic tale. His Army record indicates that on 5th March 1916, before being called up for active service, ‘Samuel had been engaged at bricklaying and working on a scaffold at Alfreton when he fell from a height of 22 feet and got injured in the head, necessitating 17 stitches of the scalp. The scars are visible. He was off work 14 weeks. He was called up for the Army in June 1917. He is not likely to become an efficient soldier. His mental development is poor, his accompanying physical motions being awkward and slow. He complains that walking causes him pain and he has a tendency to be flat footed.’

The Army decided that his capacity for earning a full livelihood in the general labour market had been lessened by a quarter and issued him with a small army pension to be reviewed in a year’s time. He was found to be of good character and discharged from the Sherwood’s on 10th October 1917 and issued with Silver War Badge No 494892.

Samuel did not marry. He later lived at Laverick Road, Jacksdale and was a well known local character, lighting the village street lamps at dusk every evening. Samuel’s younger brother William also served and survived WW1 and is listed on the Jacksdale War Memorial.

Despite his horrific work accident and the resulting effects, Samuel did find employment in the general labour market and lived until age 78. His grave is at St. Mary’s.