Private Samuel Somers


Samuel Somers was born on 28 February 1895 at Dernabogey, Brookeboro, County Fermanagh, the second of seven children of farmer (later herd) William Somers and his wife Atlas (née McElroy). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Grogey, Fermanagh, with his parents and siblings and working as a farm labourer.

Somers enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron at Fivemiletown on 6 November 1914 (No. UD/159). The squadron, which had been formed as divisional cavalry for the 36th (Ulster) Division, embarked for France on 6 October 1915. A party of about thirty men of the squadron, including Somers, had embarked three days earlier, attached to 36th Division Headquarters – many if not all of them serving as batmen to senior officers.

Somers rejoined his squadron from Divisional HQ on 1 May 1916.

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 until August-September 1917 when the regiment was disbanded and most of its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Somers was one of 70 men given the job of conducting the regiment's horses to Egypt, to be handed over for use by mounted units there. They embarked from Marseilles on board HMT Bohemian on 25 August. After a month at Alexandria they returned to France, via Italy. On 5 October 1917 they arrived at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur for infantry training, and after just a few days were posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which had been renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt on 12 October. Somers was issued regimental number 41614.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

On 3 January 1918 he was admitted to the 108 Field Ambulance suffering from 'PUO' (pyrexia of unknown origin). After six weeks in hospital at Amiens and Abbeville, on 14 February he was evacuated to the UK, where he was admitted to the Berrington War Hospital at Shrewsbury. He remained there until 20 April, when he was discharged and posted to the regimental depot at Randalstown.

Somers was reported as having deserted on 6 July 1918. When of if he was apprehended is not recorded on his service file.

By 1927 he was living at Tattenabuddagh, Fivemiletown and working as a farmer. On 8 August that year he married Margaret Jane Kerr in the Brookeboro Methodist Church.


This page last updated 13 April 2023.