© Avening Parish Council 2023
“Preserve, Conserve, Enhance”
25 Samuel Luker
Private: 4th Battalion Gloster Regiment
Sam Luker was born at Nags Head on Wednesday the 9th of August 1876. His father, William Luker
(1822-1889) had been married twice. His first wife, being a widow, came with a child from her first
marriage and bore him at least three further children before passing away in 1871, and his second
wife, Hester had also been married and came with a further three children from her first marriage.
Her maiden name was Uzzell and she was the daughter of Emanuel Uzzell of Oaksey. She had
married an Ind (not from Avening) and it was from this union that her first three children came. She
was widowed in the 1860s and married William at Holy Cross Church, Avening on Saturday the 4th
of April 1874. Sam's elder brother, John, was born in 1875 and two sisters followed in 1881 and
1883. All four were baptised in Avening, Sam being welcomed into the church on Christmas Day
In his early working life he was a groom but on the 11th of January 1896, aged 19, he joined the
Gloucestershire Regiment. At that time he was 5ft 6in tall (1.67m) and weighed 133 pounds (60.3
kgs) with a chest measurement of 34in (86cm) expanded to 36in (91cm) - not a big man.
He spent the first year of service in the UK but on the 13th of January 1897 set sail with his battalion
for India where he remained until January 1904. During that time he served in Calcutta, Darjeeling
and Allalabad. It was during this time that he suffered from malaria but appeared to recover. He
remained with the Glosters until completion of his engagement in January 1912.
He married Emily Rhoda Frape at Rodmarton on Saturday the 2nd of June 1906 and he and his new
wife settled in 47 Castle Street, Cirencester. The couple were blessed with five children, four girls
and a boy, born between 1906 and 1912. On entering civilian life, Sam took up labouring and
worked in a number of different companies in Cirencester.
He volunteered for more military service in December 1915 and returned to the Glosters after a
short Reserve engagement in June 1916. Shortly after, his malaria reoccurred, this being followed by
a persistent cough and loss of weight. He was admitted to Colchester Hospital in August 1916 and
pulmonary tuberculosis was diagnosed, said to have been caused by his military service. He was
discharged from the service in September 1916 and returned home to Cirencester. After visits to
various Medical Boards he was awarded a military pension at Chisledon Camp in February 1917.
Sam worked as a labourer during the latter part of 1917 but he died of TB on Thursday, 2nd of May,
1918 at the Workhouse Infirmary, Cirencester. He was buried at Chesterton Cemetery some days
later. He was 41 years old and left Emily with the four children but so far, we have been unable to
locate any descendants. He is remembered with honour on several War Memorials in Cirencester,
the tablet on the front of Avening Memorial Hall and his name has been added to the Avening Roll
of Honour in Avening Church.