McMillan, Samuel Edgar (No. 13171)

McMillan, Samuel Edgar (Samuel)


No. 13171, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Sunday 2 July 1916 (aged 21)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Harland & Wolff (Queen’s Island) War Memorial


In some records his surname is spelt McMillen.

In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Rifleman Samuel McMillan (No. 13171) was born in Newtownards and enlisted in Belfast.

Rifleman Samuel McMillan (No. 13171) served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website it is recorded that Private Samuel McMillan (No. 13171) died on the second day of the Battle of the Somme.  In the heat of battle, the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles did not make a casualty return on 1 July 1916 and many military historians agree that those 8th Battalion casualties listed on the 2 July return were killed in action on 1 July.

In the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects his sole legatee was his mother, Margaret J. McMillan.

In Pension Records Samuel McMillan (No. 13171) has the rank of Lance Corporal, he is named as Samuel Edgar McMillan and his mother, Mrs Margaret Jane McMillan, is named as his dependent.  Her address was 52 McMaster Street, Belfast.  In 1911 the McMillan family was living at 9 Parker Street, Belfast.

Samuel Edgar McMillan was born on 9 August 1894 in East Street Newtownards and he was a son of John and Margaret Jane McMillan (nee Edgar) who were married on 30 January 1885 in Newtownards Methodist Church.  John McMillan from Greenwell Street was a son of John McMillan, a weaver.  Margaret Jane McClelland from East Street, Newtownards was a daughter of Henry Edgar, a weaver.

John McMillan was a tailor and he and Margaret Jane had nine children:

Agnes Edgar (born 11 June 1885 in East Street, Newtownards; died of bronchitis 23 May 1886)

Charles (born 10 June 1886 in East Street Newtownards)

Margaret Jane (Maggie, born 20 July 1888 in East Street, Newtownards while her father was a soldier serving in Malta)

Samuel Edgar (born 9 August 1894 in East Street Newtownards)

Henry Edgar (born 30 June 1896 at 4 Thistle Street, Belfast)

Agnes Edgar (born 9 June 1897 at 4 Thistle Street, Belfast)

Marion Maxwell Edgar (born 5 January 1900 at 49 Parker Street, Belfast)

Mary Ann (born 26 March 1903 at 49 Parker Street, Belfast)

Jane Finlay (born 12 February 1908 at 9 Parker Street, Belfast; died of eczema 1 August 1908 at 9 Parker Street, Belfast)

Sometime between 1894 and 1896 the McMillen family moved from Newtownards to Belfast.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Samuel Edgar McMillen worked in the Belfast shipyard.

Rifleman Samuel Edgar McMillan (No. 13171) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France and on the Harland & Wolff (Queen’s Island) War Memorial.