Luke, Samuel John (No. 401438)

Luke, Samuel John (Samuel)

Sergeant

No. 401438, 223 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Drowned on active service on Sunday 17 August 1941 (aged 22)

Buried:

Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (Grave 1. B. 1)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

New Zealand National War Memorial in Wellington

New Zealand Cenotaph Database in Auckland War Memorial Museum

Bangor and District War Memorial

Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor

Bangor Grammar School

BIOGRAPHY

Samuel John Luke was born on 17 May 1919 in Coolnahinch, Co. Longford and he was the only son of William John and Sarah Elizabeth Kathleen Luke (nee Murray, sometimes Murphy) who were married on 9 July 1918 in Corboy Presbyterian Church, Killoe, Co. Longford.  William John Luke, a Private in the New Zealand Army from 30 Dunraven Avenue Belfast was a son of William Luke, a farmer.  Sarah Elizabeth Kathleen Murphy, a nurse from Rosemount, Longford was a daughter of Samuel Murphy, a farmer.

William John Luke was discharged from the Army and he was described as a ‘farmer and disabled ex-serviceman who had served during the First World War’ when the Luke family moved to 120 High Street, Bangor.

Samuel John Luke attended Bangor Grammar School for one year, from September 1932 until October 1933, before the Luke family moved to Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga, Auckland in New Zealand.    Samuel was 14 when they travelled aboard the SS Orsova which departed from London on 14 October 1933 bound for Sydney.

Samuel John Luke joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force and served with 223 Squadron in the Egypt campaign.  223 Squadron went to Egypt in April 1941 where it became an Operational Training Unit (OTU).

Sergeant Samuel John Luke flew Martin Maryland Mark I aircraft and he was drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on 17 August 1941.  He was 22 when he died and was buried in Suez War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt.

Sergeant Samuel John Luke (No. 401438) is commemorated on the New Zealand National War Memorial in Wellington; on the New Zealand Cenotaph Database in Auckland War Memorial Museum; on Bangor and District War Memorial; in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor and in Bangor Grammar School.

Samuel John Luke’s father died in 1961 (aged 82) and his mother died in 1967 (aged 83).