Private Samuel Phillips


Samuel Phillips was born on 22 November 1898 at Pluck, Manorcunningham, County Donegal, the eighth of eleven children of Letterkenny railway station-master Thomas Phillips and his wife Elizabeth (née Rankin). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Aghlehard, Magheraboy, with his parents and seven sibilngs.

Phillips enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 21 and 24 August 1914 (No.1025 – later Corps of Hussars No.71204). He must have overstated his age, as he was just 15 at the time.

On 23 September 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft – it is probable that he was posted to either A or D Squadron.

In May 1916 A, D and E Squadrons of the North Irish Horse came together to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps through 1916 and 1917.

On 7 January 1918 Phillips was one of fifteen men of the regiment who transferred to the Tank Corps (No.305507). After training to the Tank Corps depot at Bovington near Wareham, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion. This battalion saw action during the Advance to Victory offensive, at Amiens on 8, 9 and 11 August 1918, Albert on 23 August, and Epheny on 18 and 21 September.


Phillips' brother William also served in the war, in the Royal Artillery.