Samuel Littler was born on 9th December 1891 at Frodsham. He was the son of Thomas Littler who was born c. 1850 at Frodsham and his wife Sarah (nee Spruce) who was born c. 1851 at Bootle near Liverpool. Samuel was probably the youngest of the couple’s twelve children and one of the five who Sarah declared were still alive by the time of the 1911 Census. As Littler is a common name in Cheshire it is difficult to name exactly or give the dates of birth of the seven children who died before 1911.
The 1901 Census recorded the family as living at Eden Cottages on Bradley Lane in Frodsham. The father was a chemical labourer. Their son John who was aged 29 years was a platelayer, Andrew aged 18 years was a general labourer, as was 16-year-old Thomas. Bertha who was aged 12 years was at school, as was nine-year-old Samuel.
Ten years later John and Andrew were no longer living at home. The father was still working as a chemical labourer and the family lived at Rostherne in Overton, Frodsham. Thomas and Samuel were employed as domestic gardeners and Bertha as a domestic servant. Sarah looked after the home. Samuel’s father Thomas Littler died later in 1911 at the age of 61 years. It is not clear when his mother Sarah passed away.
Samuel married Alice Maud M. Pethick at Litherland in Lancashire on 22nd August 1914. Maud was born in Devon in the 1880s. There were several girls of a very similar name born in Devon in that decade. Maud had moved up to Seaforth to work in domestic service.
In late 1915 Samuel attested to serve in the Great War in the 5th Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment. He was given the rank of Private and the service number 5225. His previous address had been Belle Monte in Overton, but he would now seem to be living in Sutton Weaver. He was nearly 5’7’’ tall and of medical category A, the top category. He was still working as a gardener.
Samuel was not mobilised until April 1916 and then did not travel to France with the Expeditionary Force until the August of that year, when he sailed from Southampton to Rouen to join his Battalion in the field. By now he had been given another service number of 242456 and was a Rifleman, still with the 5th South Lancs. On 10th November 1917 he was given leave to the U.K. for 14 days, but it is not known for what reason. He must have returned to France because he was declared missing on 30th November during the 1st Battle of Cambrai. On 16th January 1918 the War Office officially accepted him as a Prisoner of War in Germany or in occupied territory. He was actually captured on 30th November 1917 at Cambrai and interned at Louvain.
Samuel was freed from the POW camp after the Armistice and by December 1918 had arrived back at Dover. He was demobilized in February 1919 and transferred to Class Z Army Reserve. There continued to be documentation relating to him in 1920 and 1921, but it is not clear as to why. By the end of the war his home address was given as Yew Tree Cottage in Sutton Weaver and he appeared as an absent voter for Aston parish at that time.
At some time after the Great War Samuel and Maud moved to the outskirts of Liverpool and he was employed as a gardener again. The electoral rolls for Allerton Ward in the 1930s recorded the couple as living at Maryton Grange Cottage on Allerton Road, which was where they were still living in 1939. Maud’s year of birth was given as 1888. They would appear to have had no children.
Alice Maud Littler died in March 1947 at Belmont Road Hospital, Liverpool 6, but lived in Aigburth.
Samuel Littler died in August 1968, aged 76 years and was buried at St Michael’s in Garston.