Corporal Samuel Steele


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Samuel Steele born on 6 February 1897 at Downkillybegs, Ballymena, County Antrim, the sixth or seventh of nine children of shoemaker James Steele and his wife Margaret (née McMullan). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Moat Road, Ballymena, with his parents and his five surviving siblings.

Steele enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 9 or 10 November 1915 (No.1838 – later Corps of Hussars No.71584). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime in 1916 or 1917, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Steele remained with the regiment throughout the war. A report in the Ballymena Observer of 7 December 1917 stated that he had recently been home on furlough.

On 2 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


At least one of Steele's brothers, Robert, also served in the war, in the Royal Engineers.