Private Samuel James Crothers


The background of this man is not clear, other than that he was born in Belfast around 1879, son of William Crothers, a mason.

On 24 December 1900 Crothers married Jeannie McAuley in the Belmont Presbyterian Church, Belfast. At the time he was living at 15 Radnor Street and working as a blacksmith. The couple had six children over the  next fourteen years. At the time of the 1911 Census they were living at 35 Vicarage Street, Samuel working as a general labourer. Soon after they moved to 32 Chamberlain Street.

Crothers enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron on 23 November 1914 (No. UD/186 – later Corps of Dragoons No.21254). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the squadron was brought together with B and C Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In September 1917 the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the infantry. By that time, however, Crothers was no longer with the regiment. He had either returned to the Inniskillings reserve depot at Enniskillen, perhaps following illness or injury, or as one record suggests, had been attached to the 2nd Dragoons and then the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons.

On 31 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Crothers returned to his family at 32 Chamberlain Street, working as a labourer, then later in his life as a foreman in the Binding Department of John Cleland & Son Ltd.

He died in hospital on 8 March 1963 and was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery, Belfast.


This page last updated 21 April 2023.