Rank: Private
Number: 11974
Unit: 9th battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 17 April 1916
Age: 28
Cemetery: Merville Communal Cemetery, Nord, France

Samuel was born in the parish of St Thomas' C of E Church, Stockport and his birth being registered between April and June 1888. In 1912, he married Sarah Alice Bell at Christ Church, Heaton Norris and they lived together at 11 Ardenfield Street in the Higher Hillgate area of town. They would have two children. These are probably Alice and Mary Jane Hatton whose births were registered at Stockport between 1915 and 1917.

Samuel worked as a carter for Messrs Blackshaw Ltd of Stockport until he enlisted into the army. on 29 August 1914. After training, he will have gone overseas with the newly formed 9th Cheshires in mid-July 1915.

From the early part of 1916, the 9th Cheshires had undertaken tours of duty in the front line trenches south the French village of Neuve Chappelle. The tours were about four days long and were alternated with periods in the reserve area. Samuel is recorded as having died of wounds he had received. It cannot be said for certain when he was injured but on 16 April 1916, the Cheshires were coming to the end of period in the trenches at Ferme du Bois. Their sector had been quiet although casualties could still be expected on a daily basis. This Sunday was no exception and the Battalion's War Diary records that the weather was cloudy. "Casualties - other ranks one killed, one wounded."

If Samuel was the man wounded, he would have received immediate attention from the Battalion's own medical officer and would then have been evacuated a little way behind the front line to a Dressing Station. It is unlikely that anything more would have been done other than to dress his wounds and make him ready for further transport. He would have further evacuated to either 7th or 54th Casualty Clearing Station at Merville (a distance on today's roads of 15 kilometres). Here, military surgeons would have done all they could to save his life, but without success.

The soldier who had been killed was another local man, Fred Newling.

By the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission was collating its casualty information, Sarah had remarried, to a Mr Molloy, and was living at 8 Bealey Street, Crossley Street, Gorton, Manchester.

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