Samuel DEAKIN
Rank: Driver
Number: 40723
Unit: 61st Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 28 September 1915
Age: 42
Cemetery: Stockport Borough Cemetery

Samuel was born in the Stockport area around 1873 but the earliest documentary evidence of him dates from 15 September 1894. He got married that day, aged 19, to his fiancée, Sarah Ann Johnson, also aged 19. The service was at St Paul's Church, Portwood and the marriage certificate notes that his father was called William. He signed the certificate but Sarah couldn't write and made her mark. The official witnesses were two of her relatives Harriett and James Johnson.

Like many local men, Samuel was earning his living in the hatting industry but later went to work for Mr Davies, a local stonemason. His home was at 66 York Street, Edgeley and, over the years, he and Sarah had five children together. Very shortly after War was declared, Samuel enlisted into the army. His working life with Mr Davies made him eminently suitable for the Engineers and he was assigned to the newly formed 61st Company. It was the first of those established for the New Armies hurriedly being formed for the War and it went overseas in May 1915.

Then Stockport Advertiser, in its edition of 13 August 1915, reported what happened. Within only a couple of weeks or so of arriving in Belgium "He was wounded by the explosion of a shell whilst the Engineers were repairing roads. The mule on which he was riding stampeded and he fell off and broke his leg. Whilst waiting for help, another shell exploded but he was eventually taken to safety by some of the Engineers."

Samuel will have received treatment at a military field hospital and was then evacuated back to "Blighty" where, by August,  he was recovering in a hospital in Scotland. Shortly after, he was transferred to Stockport and was at the temporary military hospital established in Hollywood School when he died. It's thought that his death was due to natural causes rather than a complication setting in from his injuries.

Samuel was buried on 1 October with full military honours. The cortege was accompanied by a party of about 30 soldiers from the 6th Cheshires . The Advertiser described it "The soldiers formed up outside Hollywood Hospital about 1.30 and accompanied the coffin which was covered with a Union Jack to the residence in York Street, Edgeley, where several wreaths were placed in position and the mourners, conveyed in two Broughams, joined the procession, following the open Windsor car. In a slow march, with arms reversed, the military bearers walking by the side of the remains and the firing party and others preceding the car and carriages, the cortege impressively wended  its way to the Borough Cemetery."  Once there, a short service was conducted by Rev. J Thorpe. Three volleys were fired over the grave and the "Last Post" was sounded.

In 1918, Sarah married Frederick Rich and they lived at 4 High Street, Cheadle. She died in 1928, aged 49.

   
           
   
     
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