No. 6214, 25th Battalion, Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force (AIF)
Died of disease on Sunday 26 May 1918 (aged 26)
Vignacourt British Cemetery, France (Grave III. A. 11)
Australian War Memorial
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for
Dundonald Presbyterian Church
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
In some records his surname is spelt Gurley.
Samuel Gourley was born on 12 January 1892 in the townland of Killearn, Newtownards and he was a son of John and Agnes Gourley (nee Gaw). In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour website it is recorded that he was a native of Ballyskeagh, Newtownards, Co Down.
John Gourley and Agnes Gaw were married on 16 May 1870 in Second Comber Presbyterian Church. John Gourley, a servant from Ringneal, was a son of Henry Gourley, a labourer. Agnes Gaw, a servant from Drumhirk, was a daughter of James Gaw, a labourer.
John and Agnes Gourley (nee Gaw) had at least seven children:
James (born 27 March 1871 in Castle Hill, Co Down)
Thomas Cregan (born 28 January 1874 in Forde Street, Newtownards)
John (born 14 June 1876 in Killearn)
Henry (born 8 June 1879 in Killearn)
Robert (born 5 September 1882 in Ballyrogan)
Elizabeth (born 18 February 1888 in Ballyrogan)
Samuel (born 12 January 1892 in Killearn)
Samuel Gourley worked as an agricultural labourer and he served for three months in the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) before he moved to Australia. There he worked as a labourer before enlisting in Brisbane, Queensland on 2 March 1916. It was noted in his attestation papers that he was 5 feet 9 inches tall with a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark hair and he required dental treatment.
Private Samuel Gourley was hospitalised at Lytton Camp in Australia from 24 May until 25 October 1916. He boarded ship in Brisbane on 27 October and reached Plymouth on 9 January 1917. He was in Bulford Hospital from 16 January 1917 until 12 March 1917 and went to France on 24 April 1917.
Private Samuel Gourley made his will on 7 June 1917 and his legatee was his brother Robert who lived in Cedar Street, Dunellan Estate, South Brisbane.
Private Samuel Gourley died of pneumonia in the 61st Casualty Clearing Station on 26 May 1918 and an inventory of his effects was made: one disc, one razor strop, one safety razor in case, one purse, one note case, one metal cigarette case, one pipe, one badge, one wallet, one tobacco pouch, one note book, letters and photos.
Private Samuel Gourley was buried in Vignacourt British Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
EVER REMEMBERED BY
HIS SORROWING MOTHER
At the time of Private Samuel Gourley’s death his parents were living at 48 Vicarage Street, Belfast and he is commemorated in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 224). He is also commemorated in the PCI Roll of Honour for Dundonald Presbyterian Church.