Reid, Samuel James (Samuel)
No. 9869, 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Killed in action on Saturday 22 May 1915 (aged 24)
Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey (Special Memorial 83)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
Samuel James Reid was born on 20 April 1891 in the townland of Ballyboley and he was a son of Samuel James and Matilda Reid (nee Burch, sometimes Birch) who were married on 23 March 1891 in Carrowdore Parish Church of Ireland Church. Samuel James Reid from Ballyboley, was a son of Hugh Reid, a labourer. Matilda Burch aged 20 from Ballybuttle was a daughter of George Burch, a labourer.
Samuel James Reid Senior worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Matilda had eight children, seven of whom were baptised in Carrowdore Parish Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church):
Samuel James (born 20 April 1891 in Ballyboley)
Eliza Jane (born 8 August 1892 in Frederick Street, Newtownards; died of gastritis 4 September 1892 in Frederick Street, Newtownards)
Hugh (born 10 September 1893 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)
Margaret (Maggie, born 28 March 1895 in Carrowdore)
Anna (born 14 April 1896 in Carrowdore)
Eliza Jane (Lizzie, born 28 June 1897 in Ballyrawer)
Agnes Burch (born around 1898/1899)
Mary Matilda (born on 7 April 1900 in Carrowdore)
Mary Matilda Reid was just seven days old when her mother Matilda died of puerperal fever on 14 April 1900 (aged 28).
At that time the Reid family was living in Carrowdore with the children’s paternal grandmother, Ann Reid.
Samuel James Senior married Ellen Campbell on 3 July 1901 in Ballyfrenis United Free Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Carrowdore. Ellen Campbell from Ballyfrenis was a daughter of James Campbell, a labourer.
Samuel James and Ellen Reid (nee Campbell) had at least two children including:
John (born 19 May 1902 in Carrowdore and baptised in Carrowdore Parish Church of Ireland Church)
The Reid family moved from Carrowdore to Newtownards where Samuel James worked as a quarryman and they lived at 26 Front Shuttlefield before moving to 30 James Street, Newtownards.
Samuel James Reid Junior served for seven years in the Army with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, four of them in India. He went with the Expeditionary Force to Gallipoli and he died there on 22 May 1915. This is the date of death in official records although the date of death in some newspaper reports is 13 June 1915. His death was reported in the 26 June edition of the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline Killed at the Dardanelles and, in the words of the newspaper report, ‘When our troops forced a landing in Gallipoli they did so under a murderous hail of fire and at a severe cost. Private Reid and another comrade were the only two of ‘H’ Company of the Inniskillings left after a landing had been affected. At one period Private Reid had to practically bury himself in the sand for 48 hours to save himself.’
At the time of Samuel’s death his brother Hugh was in hospital in France.
Private Samuel Reid’s family placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 23 June 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
Two years have passed, but still we miss him,
Some may think the wound is healed;
But they little know the sorrow
That lies beneath a smile concealed.
At that time the Reid family was living at 45 Frederick Street, Newtownards.
Private Samuel James Reid (No. 9869) was 24 when he died and he is believed to have been buried in Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles, Gallipoli (J.A. Harker was the officiating Chaplain). There is an inscription:
THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT
Private Samuel James Reid (No. 9869) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).