Fenton, Samuel Esler (Samuel)
No. 17628, then 22473, 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of wounds on Sunday 13 October 1918 (aged 24)
Dadizele Communal Cemetery, Belgium (Grave II. 1)
Carnmoney Church of Ireland Church
Ballyclare and District Roll of Honour
Samuel Esler Fenton was born on 7 January 1894 in Ballyclare and he was the second son of James and Elizabeth Fenton (nee Adair) who were married on 31 May 1889 in Ballynure Presbyterian Church. James Fenton from Ballyclare was a son of James Fenton, a labourer. Elizabeth Adair, a mill-worker from Ballyeaston, was a daughter of James Adair, a labourer.
The Fenton family lived in Ballyclare; in Cloughfern, Monkstown and at Mount Pleasant, Whitehouse, Co Antrim.
James Fenton worked as a linen finisher in a bleach works and he and Elizabeth had at least twelve children including:
Maggie (born 11 April 1891; died 16 October 1893)
Robert James (born 15 July 1892)
Samuel Esler (born 7 January 1894)
Mary (born 5 November 1895)
Margaret (born 27 November 1896)
Isabella (born 27 August 1898)
Charles (Charlie, born 25 August 1900)
Edward (born 24 November 1902; died 4 February 1905)
Albert Edward (born 9 April 1905)
Elizabeth (born 8 September 1908; died 14 September 1908)
Elizabeth (born 2 April 1910)
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Samuel Fenton worked as a railway porter and in 1914 he enlisted in Mossley. He served with the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and went to France with 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division on 6 October 1915. After being wounded Lance Corporal Samuel Fenton was invalided home and stationed at Clandeboye. It was reported in the Newtownards Chronicle that he had a ‘magnificent baritone voice’ and, whilst stationed at Clandeboye, he sang in the choir of St Mark’s Parish Church of Ireland Church Newtownards.
He was engaged to be married to a girl from Newtownards and arrangements were being made for their wedding to take place in September 1918. However, Lance Corporal Samuel Fenton was not granted leave to get married and instead was posted back to the Front.
Lance Corporal Samuel Fenton was 24 when he died in a Casualty Clearing Station on 13 October 1918 as a result of wounds sustained during the Allied offensive against all sections of the German line. He was buried in Dadizele Communal Cemetery, Belgium.
Lance Corporal Samuel Fenton’s nephew, Rifleman James Fenton (No. 12777) was killed in action on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, (aged 22). He was buried in Serre Road Cemetery No. 2 (Grave XI. L. 5).