Gatensby, Samuel

Gatensby, Samuel


15th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Died of disease on Sunday 24 November 1918 (aged 33)


Belfast City Cemetery (Grave Screen Wall H3. 55)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Donaghadee and District War Memorial

Donaghadee Methodist Church

Belfast Corporation War Memorial Plaque in Belfast City Hall

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour

Family grave headstone in Belfast City Cemetery


In some records his surname is spelt Gatenbay, in others Gatensbay, in others Gatenby and in others Gatenbey.

Samuel Gatensby was born on 2 October 1885 at 18 Elliott’s Row, Belfast and he was a son of Thomas and Mary Gatensby (nee Campbell, sometimes Cammel) who were married on 15 April 1876 in Eglinton Street Presbyterian Church Belfast.  Thomas Gatensby was a son of Edward Gatensby, a carpenter.  Mary Campbell was a daughter of Benjamin Campbell, a sailor.

The Gatensby family lived in Belfast, in McTier Street and in Elliott’s Row.

Thomas Gatensby worked as a power loom tenter and he and Mary had at least seven children including:

Unnamed male (Alexander, born 9 July 1876 at 101 McTier Street, Belfast; died of tuberculosis 24 January 1899 at 37 California Street, Belfast aged 22)

Thomas (born 25 January 1878 at 101 McTier Street, Belfast)

Annie (born 22 April 1880 at 18 Elliott’s Row, Belfast)

Mary (Minnie, born 7 July 1882 at 18 Elliott’s Row, Belfast)

Samuel (born 2 October 1885 at 18 Elliott’s Row, Belfast)

Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 6 January 1888 at 18 Elliott’s Row, Belfast)

Samuel was 3 when his father Thomas died of tuberculosis on 24 June 1889 (aged 33) and the family moved to Donaghadee where they lived in Princess Gardens.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War, Samuel Gatensby worked as a Sheriff’s Clerk in Belfast.  He worked with H.A. Cutler, M.Inst.C.E., City Surveyor of Belfast.  He enlisted in the Cyclist Company of the 36th (Ulster) Division and when he obtained a commission he was posted to the 15th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in March 1917 as a Second Lieutenant.  A few weeks later he went to the Front with 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and twice he was wounded in action.

Lieutenant Samuel Gatensby suffered from gas poisoning and he died of pneumonia at his home in Princess Gardens, Donaghadee on 24 November 1918, three days after his mother Mary died of influenza (aged 63).

Lieutenant Samuel Gatensby was buried in Belfast City Cemetery and is commemorated on Donaghadee and District War Memorial; in Donaghadee Methodist Church; on Belfast Corporation War Memorial Plaque in Belfast City Hall and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 210) where it is recorded that he was awarded the Military Cross (this award is not listed on his Medal Index Card).