Private Samuel Lee


Samuel Lee was born on 2 January 1882 at Ballyhackamore, Belfast, County Down, the fourth of eleven children of coachmanWilliam John Lee and his wife Jane (née Brown). At the time of the 1901 Census he was living at Old Forge, Malone, County Antrim, with his parents and eight of his siblings and working as a damask weaver. He later worked as a baker. On 2 February 1910 he married Hessie Jameson in the Belmont Presbyterian Church, Holywood. The couple had three children over the next four years. By the time of the 1911 Census they were living at 86 Park Road, Portadown, County Armagh, Samuel working as a breadserver. They later moved to Belfast, where Lee worked for Mercer & Co. Ulster Bakery.

Lee enlisted in the Army Service Corps at Belfast on 11 June 1915 (No.T4/111499), serving at the 30th Reserve Park. He was absent from duty from 31 May to 10 June 1916, but appears to have escaped any punishment, other than the loss of 11 days' pay.

On 31 July 1916 Lee transferred to the North Irish Horse (No.2226). He served at the regiment's base depot at Antrim until 9 July 1917, when he and around thirty other North Irish Horsemen, being no longer physically fit for front-line service due to injury, age or illness, were transferred to the Labour Corps and posted to No.664 Home Service Labour Company. Lee was issued regimental number 333710. It appears, based on the records of some of these men, that they continued to serve at the North Irish Horse reserve depot at Antrim. On 17 November 1917 he was posted to No.395 Home Service Employment Company.

Lee embarked for France on 9 May 1919, serving there as a cook until he returned to the UK on 10 February 1920. On 9 March that year he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He claimed a pension due to an injury to his kidneys in January 1917, when he was thrown from his horse whilst on mounted drill at the Antrim riding school, but this was rejected.

By 1955 Lee was living at 5 Lisburn Avenue, Belfast, having retired from work as a salesman. He died at Musgrave Park Hospital on 18 May that year.