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Private David Hunter Ransom




David Hunter Ransom was born at New Malden, Surrey, in the second half of 1889, the third of six children of butcher Joseph Jeremiah Ransom and his wife Annie (née Hunter). He was baptised in the Holy Trinity Church, Aldershot, on 6 April 1890. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 27 Malden Road, New Malden, where he worked as an assistant in his brother Percy's butcher's shop.

Ransom enlisted in the army at Woolwich on 3 March 1916. He was posted to the North Irish Horse at its regimental reserve at Antrim (No.2121). He stood 5' 8½" tall, had a fresh complexion, fair hair, with blue eyes.

On 18 August 1916, however, he left the Antrim camp without leave. The Police Gazette of 5 December 1916 reported him as a deserter.

It appears that Ransom travelled to England where, between 23 and 25 August, he enlisted in the Army Service Corps (No. T4/233214). It is not known whether he admitted to being a desterter from the North Irish Horse. On 1 April 1917 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) (No.90328). Later that year or in early 1918 he embarked for France, where he was posted to the 18th MGC Company, part of the 6th Division.

On 1 March 1918 the 18th Company became part of the newly-formed 6th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, attached to the 6th Division. The 18th was renamed B Company. When the German spring offensive commenced on 21 March, the 6th Battalion was in the Vaulx-Lagnicourt-Morchies sector. Over two days of severe fighting it lost 14 officers and men killed, 82 wounded, and 199 missing. Sixty of its 64 machine-guns in the line at the time of the attack were lost or destroyed. Ransom was among those killed on the first day – he was probably among those initially listed as missing.

As he has no known grave, Ransom is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, Panel 92.B.



Both of Ransom's brothers, Joseph and Percy, served during the war, in the Surrey Yeomanry, arriving if France on 22 December 1914. Joseph was discharged, time expired, on 3 December 1915. Percy was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the Army Service Corps in April 1918.


Family image taken in Malden Garden, summer 1911.


Image of Ransom and his family sourced from Ancestry.com Public Member Trees – contributor Becky Higson. Memorial images courtesy of Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project.


This page last updated 6 December 2023.