Private Samuel McKane


Although the background of this man is not certain, it seems probable that he was the Samuel John McKane born on 7 March 1894 at Somerset, Coleraine, County Londonderry, the first of four children of William McKane and his wife Mary (née Curry). His father worked as butler to Major John Arthur Torrens of the Scots Greys on his estate at Somerset. At the time of the 1911 Census Samuel was living at Somerset with his parents and siblings and working as an apprentice carpenter.

McKane enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 15 September and 12 November 1915 (No. UD/306). On 6 October 1915 the squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division, had embarked for France.

McKane trained at the squadron's reinforcements depot at Enniskillen until April 1917, when he and around ten other men of the reserve squadron transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) (No.105471) – together with around ten from the South Irish Horse. They embarked for France on 24 April.

Little more has been discovered about his service for the remainder of the war. Records suggest that at some point he was posted to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), serving in that regiment's 36th Battalion. In October 1918 he was hospitalised, suffering from influenza.

On 17 February 1919 McKane was demobilised and transferred to Clas Z, Army Reserve.

After the war McKane lived in Belfast, working as a joiner. On 16 April 1924 he married Margaret Moore in the Sinclair Seamen's Presbyterian Church, Shankill, Belfast.

He died at his home, 3 Camden Street, Belfast, on 10 April 1975 and was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery.


This page last updated 30 July 2023.