Sergeant Samuel Strange


Samuel Strange was born on 1 November 1899 at 188 Upper Meadow Street, Belfast, the second of eight children of carter Samuel Strange and his wife Sarah (née Gourley). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 34 Strathaden Street, Belfast, with his parents and his four surviving siblings (another was born later that year).

Strange enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 10 May 1915 (No.1526 – later Corps of Hussars No.71420). He must have overstated his age, as he was only 15 at the time. He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Strange remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 4 February 1919 he re-enlisted, in the Corps of Dragoons (No. D/33454 – later No.392013), serving in the Royal Scots Greys until his discharge on 6 June 1922 (paragraph 392(xxv) King's Regulations – 'services no longer required'). His military character was recorded as 'very good'.

On 1 May 1920 Strange married Margaret Ritchie Bain in Colinton, Edinburgh. Their first child, Barbara Patricia, was born the following year. Soon after, the family emigrated to Canada, sailing from Belfast on 28 April 1923.