Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Rifleman Samuel Hill - 1st man of the 36th Ulster Division to be killed on active service

NAME; Hill, Samuel
RANK; Rifleman
SERV. NO; 19557
UNIT/SERVICE; Royal Irish Rifles
REGIMENT; 12th Battalion
BORN; Ayrshire, 1892
LIVED; Lancasterian Street, Carrickfergus
FATE; Died of Wounds – France and Flanders – 22nd October 1915 aged 23
CEMETERY; Doullens Communal Cemetery Extensions NO.1 (France) – II D. 1
CHURCH; Joymount Presbyterian, Carrickfergus
REMARKS; Samuel was born in Ayrshire in 1892, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Hill, of Rushpark, Whitehouse, Belfast, His mother came from Ayshire and his father was a native of Carrickfergus.  He was brother to James, Alexander, Mary A, David and Elizabeth. Prior to enlisting in 1914 he worked on the floor of Barn Mills and like many of his colleagues joined up with the 12th Battalion.  He was a fine footballer and the local papers of the time have many references to his performances with Barn Swifts Football Team.  Following training at Clandeboye and then England he was embarked for France on 5th October 1915.  After less that two weeks on the front line in France, Samuel was killed and became the first man of the 36th Ulster Division to be killed on active service during the Great War.   

Following news of Samuel’s death a memorial service was held in Joymount Presbyterian Church, the Reverend Minford preached on the verse – “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends.”  Samuel was buried at Doullens Cemetery in France, under a wooden Celtic cross, on which was written “First man of the Division to give his life for his King and Country and for the honour of Ulster”.  Samuel’s brother Alexander was lost at Sea in 1917 on board H.M.S  “Princess Alberta”.

Samuel was a member of Joymount Presbyterian Church and appears on their memorial plaque as well as the Barn Mills Roll of Honour located in Carrickfergus Town Hall.  


The Original Cross marking Rifleman Hill's resting place

Thanks to Nigel Henderson as always for these newspapers cuttings

No comments:

Post a Comment