No. 8171, 2nd Battalion, Connaught Rangers
Killed in action on Monday 14 September 1914
Vailly British Cemetery, France (Grave II. D. 29)
Holywood and District War Memorial
In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Sergeant Samuel Patterson (No. 8171) was born in Glasgow, lived in Holywood and enlisted in Belfast.
Sergeant Samuel Patterson’s surname was in fact Potter and his family never knew why he used the name Patterson when he enlisted.
According to his family, Samuel Patterson was a career soldier and during the South African War he served as Private Samuel Patterson (No. 6517).
Samuel Potter was born at 2.30 am on 4 October 1885 at 19 Hallside Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow and he was a son of Samuel and Eliza Potter (nee Peak). Samuel Potter was born in County Galway, he worked as an iron forger and he and Eliza had at least five children:
Thomas (born around 1873/1874 in England)
William Henry (born around 1878/1879 in Scotland)
Mary (born around 1880/1881 in Scotland)
Samuel (born on 4 October 1885 at 19 Hallside Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow)
Robert Edward (born around 1889/1890 in Scotland)
Their mother, Eliza Potter, died before 1901 and in 1901 the Potter family was living in Newcastle Street, Victoria, Belfast. Samuel Potter Senior, Thomas and William worked in the shipyard. Samuel Potter Junior worked in the ropeworks. They all declared their religious denomination to be Roman Catholic.
Mary Potter and William Johnston, a shipwright from Belfast, were married on 29 August 1903 in Whitehouse Presbyterian Church, Co Antrim.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War, according to his family, Samuel Potter was living with his sister, Mary Johnston, at 63 Ean Hill, Holywood and in August 1914 he went with others to Belfast to enlist. He served with the 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers and was killed in action on 14 September 1914 during the Battle of Aisne.
Sergeant Samuel Patterson (No. 8171) was buried in Vailly British Cemetery, France and his family decided to have his name inscribed on his CWGC headstone as S. Patterson – the name he used when he served. In his will Sergeant Samuel Patterson left everything to his sister, Mrs W. Johnston.
Sergeant Samuel Patterson’s name was not originally included on Holywood and District War Memorial. Following representations to North Down Borough Council by his family, Samuel Patterson’s name was added in 2011.