Second Lieutenant Samuel Brown Stevenson


Samuel Brown Stevenson was born on 6 February 1892 At Ballyclare, Doagh Grange, County Antrim, the first of three children of medical practitioner Alexander King Stevenson and his wife Mary Frances (nee Nichol). Educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, by the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents, grandmother and brother at 7 Market Square, Ballyclare, and working as an apprentice manager in a flax spinning mill.

Stevenson enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 1 October 1914 (No.1242 – later Corps of Hussars No.71297). He embarked for France with D Squadron on 1 May 1915. A month later at Carvin he was admonished for "irregular conduct" while on main guard duty.

On 10 September 1917 Stevenson applied for a commission in the infantry, with a preference for the Royal Irish Rifles. He left for the UK two months later and reported for duty at the 15th Reserve Brigade at Belfast, awaiting posting to a cadet school. Eventually he was posted to No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion at Fermoy, reporting for duty there on 7 May 1918. After a period of training he was assessed as having a good standard of education and weak military knowledge, "but a great trier". As to his power of command and leadership – "wants confidence & then will make a good leader". Riding was listed under 'special qualifications'. Overall he was "hard working and conscientious. ... Should keep on improving & do well."

On 30 October 1918 Stevenson was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the Royal Irish Rifles. Rather than joining a reserve regiment, he was sent direct to France, where he joined the 15th (Service) Battalion. By then, however, hostilities had ended. Stevenson left the regiment for the UK on 5 April 1919. He was demobilised five days later and relinquished his commission on 1 September 1921.

After the war Stevenson returned to work as a mill manager. On 22 September 1919 he married Norah Isabel Ferguson at the Third Presbyterian Church, Cookstown.