No. 18/977, 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 21 March 1918 (aged 20)
No known grave
Pozieres Memorial, France (Panel 74 to 76)
Samuel Montgomery was born on 30 January 1898 at 38 Swift Street, Belfast and he was a son of David and Eleanor (Ellen) Montgomery (nee Kennedy) who were married on 31 October 1889 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). David Montgomery from Ballyrainey, Newtownards was a son of Robert Montgomery, a farm servant. Ellen Kennedy from Ballyrainey, Newtownards was a daughter of Henry Kennedy, a labourer.
The Montgomery family lived in the townland of Ballyalton, Comber.
David Montgomery worked as a farm servant and labourer and he and Ellen had at least three children:
Sarah Jane (born 25 February 1891 in Castleavery)
David John (born 22 March 1895 at 37 Altcar Street, Belfast)
Samuel (born 30 January 1898 at 38 Swift Street, Belfast)
After David Montgomery Senior died of enteric fever on 22 September 1898 (aged 29), the family lived in the townland of Greengraves, Newtownards. They lived with Ellen’s father, Henry Kennedy, who worked as an agricultural labourer.
Ellen Montgomery (nee Kennedy) married George Smith (sometimes Smyth) on 6 November 1901 in Comber Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mary’s). George Smith, a widower from Comber, was a son of Samuel Smith, a labourer.
Samuel Montgomery lived with his mother and stepfather in the townland of Ballyrickard.
George Smith worked as a labourer and he and Ellen had at least four children:
Maggie Jane (born 31 May 1902 in Greengraves)
Mary (born 1903)
William James (born 12 September 1904 in Ballyalton)
George (born 6 August 1908 in Ballyrickard)
Samuel Montgomery enlisted on 15 November 1915 in Newtownards and he joined the 18th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. He went to the Front with the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster Division) and he was killed in action on 21 March 1918 at the beginning of the German Spring Offensive. Initially he was posted as missing in action and in August 1919 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France. There were two In Memoriam notices in the 30 August 1919 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. One was from ‘his loving father, mother, sisters and brothers – George and Ellen Smyth’ and it contained the verse:
Taken away in his early youth,
Taken from those he loved,
From serving his King on earth below
To serve his Great King above
The other notice was from his brother David and it contained the verse:
True hearts that loved you
With sweetest affection,
Always shall love you
In death just the same.
Rifleman Samuel Montgomery is commemorated on Comber and District War Memorial as having served and survived.