Russell, Samuel John (Sam)
No. 143369, 222nd Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers
Died of wounds on Monday 5 March 1917 (aged 22)
Hem Farm Military Cemetery, France (Grave I. G. 13)
Holywood and District War Memorial
Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James)
Samuel John Russell was born on 3 September 1894 in the townland of Rahanna, Ardee, Co Louth and he was a son of Isaac and Annie Russell (nee Briggs) who were married on 18 December 1890 in Kilkeel Parish Church of Ireland Church Co Down. Isaac Russell, a widower, was a son of Stephen Russell, a coachman. Annie Briggs, a servant, was a daughter of William Briggs, a farmer.
Isaac Russell worked as a gardener and in 1911 the Russell family was living at 31 Church View, Holywood. Samuel John Russell had two younger sisters:
Annie Violet (born 19 December 1896 when the family lived in County Cork)
Florence (born 9 April 1900 when the family lived in County Waterford)
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Samuel Russell worked as a gardener for William Miller in Holywood. He was a member of 1st Holywood Boy Scouts for more than eight years and became Assistant Scoutmaster. He enlisted in Belfast and served with the 222nd Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers.
Sapper Samuel John Russell (No. 143369) was 22 when he died of wounds on 5 March 1917 and, in a letter to Sam’s father, his Captain said that Sam ‘had distinguished himself on the field three weeks before he met his death’. He was buried in Hem Farm Military Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
FOR HE IS FAITHFUL THAT PROMISED
HEB. X. 23
Sapper Samuel John Russell’s death was reported in the 30 March 1917 edition of the County Down Spectator. Sapper Russell is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial and in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James).