In memoriam

Private Samuel Robert Devine



Samuel Robert Devine was born at 62 Edinburgh Street, Liverpool, on 23 July 1885, the last of at least eight children of Cavan-born parents, book-keeper (formerly parish clerk and school teacher) William Devine and his wife Catherine née Johnstone). Both of his parents died the following year and Samuel was taken to Ireland to be raised by relatives. At the time of the 1901 Census he was living at Carrowfarnaghan, County Cavan, with his uncles John and George Devine, and working as an agricultural labourer.

On 7 March 1907 Devine married Martha Eliza Ludlow at Kildallon, County Cavan. Their child, Francis William, was born at Auburn, Malahide, County Dublin, the following year, but Martha died within days as a result of complications from the birth. Devine remarried on 15 November 1910 at Clogher, County Tyrone, to Elizabeth Howe. The couple had four children over the next five years.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Samuel, Elizabeth and his first child Francis were living at Killykeeran, County Fermanagh, Samuel working as a farm labourer.

Devine enlisted at Enniskillen in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 19 and 26 October 1914 (No. UD/56). 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 Inniskilling squadron joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In August-September 1917 the Regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Devine, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt. Devine was issued regimental number 41156.

Devine was wounded during the Battle of Cambrai, probably during the fighting around Marcoing in December 1917. Evacuated to England for treatment, he was found to be also suffering from tuberculosis which he had contracted while in the army. He died at a Voluntary Aid Hospital in Cheltenham on 24 February 1918.  

Private Devine is buried in the  Gloucester Old Cemetery, England, grave NG.249. His gravestone inscription reads:

9/41156 PRIVATE


His name is included on the Brookeborough War Memorial, County Fermanagh (see images below).


Devine's fifth child, Samuel Robert, had died on 9 October 1916 in the Lisnaskea Union Hospital due, according to the coroner, to 'starvation due probably to neglect and insufficient food'. His surviving children were given to the guardianship of the Reverend Richard Lapham of Attybaron Lisnaskea, later of the Templecarne Rectory, Pettigo, County Donegal.


Brookeborough War Memorial


Brookeborough War Memorial 


First image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, Brookeborough War Memorial images sourced from the Irish War Memorials site.


This page last updated 20 March 2024.