Rank: Rifleman
Number: S/12950
Unit: A Company, 11th Battalion RIFLE BRIGADE
Date of Death: 7 July 1916
Age: 26
Cemetery: Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, Vlamertinge, Belgium

Nothing is known of Samuel’s early life other than he was born in the Stockport area, the first child of James and Mary. The 1901 Census records the family living at 101 School Street, Adswood. James worked in one of the several bleachworks in the area. The couple now had five children. In addition to Samuel, there was Sarah, Alice, Thomas and James. They later moved to Higher Brinksway.

Samuel’s service number suggests he was probably an original member of the 11th Battalion which was formed a few weeks after the commencement of the War and which went overseas in the summer of 1915.  

Miles to the south of Samuel and his comrades, the Battle of the Somme had been raging for a week from 1 July. But, at Vlamertinghe near the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper), it was relatively quiet for a change. From the beginning of the month, the Riflemen had been away for the front line but they were still being kept busy undertaking various working parties. On the 6th, they went into the line to start another tour of duty, relieving the 10th Kings Liverpools.

The next day, the British artillery shelled the German positions at Wieltje. As always, the Germans retaliated killing Samuel and Arthur Bevan (a man from Birmingham). They are buried nearby in adjacent graves.

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