Strain, Samuel (No. 17016)

Strain, Samuel


No. 17016, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 22)


A.I.F. Burial Ground, France (Grave X. A. 3)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Donaghadee and District War Memorial

Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church


In some records, his surname is spelt Strean.

Samuel Strain was born around 1891/1892 and he was a son of Alexander and Mary Ann Strain (nee Patty, sometimes Pattie, sometimes Patton) who were married on 31 May 1884 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.  Alexander Strain from Herdstown was a son of Joseph Strain, a labourer.  Mary Ann Patty from Moat Street, Donaghadee was a daughter of James Patty, a labourer.

The Strain family lived in townlands of Herdstown and Hogstown, Donaghadee.

Alexander Strain worked as a labourer and he and Mary Ann had at least eight children:

Agnes (born 24 April 1885 in Mount Street, Donaghadee; married Robert Boal 2 September 1912 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church)

John (born 30 May 1887 in Herdstown; married Matilda Black 12 August 1910 in Ballygrainey Presbyterian Church)

Unnamed male (born 28 January 1898 in Newtownards Workhouse)

Mary Elizabeth (born 12 midnight 4 August 1890 at 12 Brick Row, Eglinton Ironworks, Kilwinning; her father was working as an ironworks labourer)

Samuel (born 1.00 am 4 June 1892 at 12 Brick Row, Eglinton Ironworks, Kilwinning; his father was working as a furnace labourer)

Maggie (born 24 December 1894 in Herdstown; died of anaemia at East Street, Donaghadee 18 July 1916 aged 21; she was working as a servant)

Annie Louisa (Anna, born 2 March 1897 in Herdstown; died of bronchitis in Herdstown 14 April 1897 aged six weeks)

James (born 28 July 1900 in Herdstown)

Some of the children were baptised in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Samuel Strain worked as an agricultural labourer.

Samuel Strain enlisted in Donaghadee, he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 22 when he was presumed to have been killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  Initially he was posted as ‘missing in action’.

Samuel Strain had been a member of No Surrender Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL) No. 241 in Donaghadee and the officers and members placed a For King and Country notice in the 16 June 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.  They expressed ‘their deep regret at the loss of their highly respected brethren’.  The notice commemorated the deaths of Robert McGaffin (spelt Gaffin), Ballyhay; William Patton, Ballyfotherly and Samuel Strain, Donaghadee.  It was signed by William Robert McCauley and Robert John Rea.

Samuel Strain’s mother and father lived at 22 (then 14) East Street, Donaghadee and Mary Ann was 78 when she died from senile debility at 14 East Street on 2 November 1939.  Her son John was with her when she died.  Alexander Strain, late of 14 East Street, was 77 when he died from myocardial degeneration due to arteriosclerosis in Down Mental Hospital on 14 July 1940.

Rifleman Samuel Strain (No. 17016) was buried in the A.I.F. Burial Ground, France and he is commemorated on Donaghadee and District War Memorial and in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church.