Samuel PLATT
Rank: Private
Number: 34594
Unit: 8th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 29 January 1917
Age: 24
Cemetery: Basra Memorial, Iraq

Samuel was born in Marple and lived in the village with his mother, Sarah, and brother, Tom, at Dood Field. His father, John, had been killed in a motorcycle accident some years before.

Samuel's service number indicates he enlisted in early 1916 and, after training, will have joined the Battalion in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).

Neighbouring battalions had captured Turkish positions at the Hai Salient on 25 January 1917. Immediately afterwards, 40th Brigade, including the Cheshires, started to consolidate the newly won positions and to dig new trenches. The Battalion's War Diary, for the 28th, records that enemy snipers were extremely active and considerably hampered the evening‘s work, but the trenches were ready by the next day.

On the 29th, the new trench was occupied by "D" Company and further improvement work was carried out. There was very little enemy firing during the day. At 6pm, troops of 14th Division made a further attack and again captured the Turks' new front line. At this point the enemy opened rapid rifle fire all along the line.

The Regimental History states that, between 20 and 31 January, 40th Brigade had dug 7.5 miles of trenches as well as consolidating 4 miles of captured trench. "It was all done in the open, but every man who fell digging saved many lives which would have been lost by advancing across the open."  Samuel was one of the Battalion's ten men who died during this period. Another local man was James Farmer.

The Stockport Advertiser, in its edition of 11 May 1917, reported that a Memorial service had been held at Windlehurst Wesleyan Chapel for three of its congregation who had been killed. They were Samuel, Clarence Byrom and Albert Ferns.

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