Samuel was the son of W H and Elizabeth McIlvenny of 22 Stratheden Street, Belfast, born in Liverpool on the 1st December 1893.
For unknown reasons, Samuel, his mother and 5 siblings had moved to Ashton Street Dock Ward Antrim Ireland, as they were all listed here on the 1901 Ireland census, having moved from Liverpool. As his father was not listed, it is possible they all returned to be around extended family. 10 years later four children remained living with their mother, Samuel aged 17.
On the outbreak of war Samuel joined the Navy, leaving his work as a plumber's helper on 4th January 1913, for 5 years plus 7 in reserve. He was 5’3” tall with brown hair and brown eyes and was rated as a Stoker 2nd Class at HMS PEMBROKE II until 23rd May 1913. The following day he was posted to HMS LONDON, rising in rating to Stoker 1st Class on 4th January 1914. He left on 13th February 1914.
Returning to HMS PEMBROKE II on Valentines Day 1914, and staying until the end of March, Samuel joined the dreadnought on 1st April 1914, spending 5 days in cells from 28th August 1914 for reasons unknown. He returned to service on 2nd September 1914 and remained with the ship and crew until her explosion, killed aged just 22.
He was awarded the Star, Victory and British medals and is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
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1901 & 1911 Ireland Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 1119.
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/9; Scan Number: 0257
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece 009 (1914 - 1919)
National Archives Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
Western Front Association; London, England; Pension Record Cards; Reference: 126/0600/MCH-MCI
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 ADM 171; Piece: 109