Samuel was the first member of his Battalion to be killed in action during the War (Private James French, from Runcorn, had been wounded at some earlier point and died on 14 November). There would be another 897 before the War ended.
He had been born in the parish of St Thomas' C of E Church, Stockport. His age when he died, as recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, was 38 and the family history website, FreeBMD, confirms the birth of a boy of this name between July and September 1876. This would have made him 24 or 25 at the time of the 1901 Census. There is no record of Samuel being recorded on the Census which suggests that he might have been out of the country, perhaps serving as a regular soldier.
In his younger days, Samuel had received education at All Saints Sunday School and had played for the football club. Between July and September 1898, he married Elizabeth Spilsbury and they lived, with their two children, at 69 Bamford Street, Stockport. Samuel worked as a doubler at Thomas Rivett Ltd's cotton mill, in the Lancashire Hill area of town (and is commemorated on the company's entry in the Manchester Battalions Book of Honour, page 507).
He enlisted in September 1914 and went overseas with the Battalion on 26 September 1915. On 13 November, Samuel and his comrades took over a section of front line trenches, relieving the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment in the Ploegsteert area. Ploegsteert (known to the Tommies as "Plugstreet") is about 12 kilometres south of the town centre of Ieper (then Ypres), not far from the border with France.
The Battalion's War Diary for the next day records "Considerable rain. Drainage and repairs carried out as far as possible. Pte. Frost, "D" Coy. killed. Pte. Lyons, "D" Coy. wounded. Weather cleared towards evening and during the night it froze." Samuel was probably killed by shrapnel exploding from an enemy shell and he is buried very near to where he died.