Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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24193   Private Samuel J Curran
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 87th Company, Machine Gun Corps (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 15/06/1898
Died: 21/11/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 20
Summary      
Samuel James Curran was the son of Lizzie Curran. He was born about 1898 in County Tyrone. The 1911 census records Samuel’s mother as a widow. Since the youngest child is only a year old, it can be assumed that his father died about 1910. Samuel was an enthusiastic member of Cookstown company of Ulster Volunteers. He had been employed at Greenvale Mill, Cookstown. He enlisted with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, but later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Private Samuel J Curran was aged just 18 when he was killed in action on 21st November 1916. with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, army number: 4421. He later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, where he was attached to the 87th Company. He was killed in action on 21st November 1916.
Private Samuel J Curran
Further Information
Samuel Curran was the eldest son of David and Elizabeth Curran. David Curran married Elizabeth Maybin on 26th March 1894 in the district of Cookstown.
Both surnames have various spellings throughout the records.
Samuel James was born on 15th June 1897. He was one of six children. The family were all born in the Cookstown area.
Family: David Curran, Lizzie Curran, Mary Elizabeth Curran (born 16th March 1895), Samuel James Curran (born 15th June 1897), David George Curran (born 3rd October 1899), John Maybin Curran (born 9th August 1902), Margaret Jane Curran (born 16th July 1906), Annie Curran (born 30th July 1909).
The 1911 census records Samuel’s mother as a widow. Since the youngest child is only a year old, it can be assumed that his father died about 1910. Samuel was 13 and had left school to become a news boy.
Samuel was an enthusiastic member of Cookstown company of Ulster Volunteers, and was described as having a cheerful, happy disposition and popular with all, who knew him. He had been employed by, Adair & Company, Greenvale Mill, Cookstown.
Greenvale Mill, Cookstown
Samuel Curran enlisted in Cookstown with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, army number: 4421.
He later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, where he was attached to the 87th Company.
Medal card
Peter, like Samuel had enlisted into the Royal Inniskillings and later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.
1916
Private Samuel J Curran was aged just 20 when he was killed in action on 21st November 1916 along with Peter Begley of Antrim.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd December 1916: Private Curran
Mrs Lizzie Curran, Oldtown Street, Cookstown, who is at present in the employment of Dr Elliott has received the following letter announcing the death in action of her brother, Private S J Curran, on 21st November
‘1st December 1916. Dear Madam, it is my painful duty to inform you of the death of your brother, Private S J Curran on 21st November. He was killed instantly by a bomb and I’m glad to say he didn’t suffer any pain. He was buried in the evening and a cross marks the spot. I may say that your brother will be greatly missed in our section, as he was always bright and cheerful, and an excellent soldier in all respects, and it will be some consolation to you to know that he died as a good and brave man. With deep regret I remain, yours faithfully, Leonard K Norris, 2nd Lieutenant, O.C., No B Section.’
Private Curran, who joined the Inniskillings some months previous to the outbreak of the war, was an enthusiastic member of Cookstown U.V.F. Of a cheerful disposition, he was most popular with all who knew him, and the news of his death has caused sincere regret to many. Before joining the army, he was employed by Messrs Adair.
1918
Samuel’s brother, Private David Curran, also died in the war. He died of his wounds on Wednesday 23rd October 1918.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd November 1918:
CURRAN – In loving memory of my dear son, Private Sam Curran, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, killed in action in France on 21st November 1916.
‘Two years today my dear son fell,
Beneath the roar of shot and shell;
When days are dark and friends are few,
It’s then, my son, I think of you.
Had I but got on last fond look
Into your loving face;
Or had I only got the chance
To kneel down in that place.
To hold your head, my loving son
While your life blood ebbed away;
My heart would not have felt so much,
The tears I shed today.
Your cheery sunny countenance, never from my memory fades,
Nor yet will I forget the noble sacrifice you made;
And when my heart is breaking, I seem to hear him say,
Keep up your heart dear mother, we’ll meet again some day.’
Ever remembered by his sorrowing mother, sisters and brother, Oldtown Street, Cookstown
Last Will and Testament
Last Will and Testament of Private Sam Curran dated 27th March 1914:
Samuel J Curran : Handwritten Will
Samuel J Curran : Will Information
In the event of my death, I give the whole of my property and effects to my mother Mrs Lizzie Curran, Oldtown Street, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Ireland. 4421 Private Sam Curran 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 27 March 1914.
Memorials
Neither of the brothers have a known grave and both are commemorated on panel 5C-12C on Thiepval Memorial, France.
Samuel Curran is also commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and St. Luran’s Church of Ireland, Roll of Honour, Derryloran, Cookstown.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Oldtown Street Cookstown North Census listing in Oldtown St 54.648901 -6.745280
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 Census lists Curran family 1911 census lists Samuel J as age 13 at house 11 in Oldtown Street, Cookstown
2 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of Samuel J Curran
3 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
4 Private David G Curran Brother of Private Samuel J Curran
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021