Our People - Samuel Yates
15 April 1917
#27371 Corporal Samuel Yates
Royal Army Medical Corps
Died 15 April 1917
Mikra Memorial, Greece
Husband of Ann Ellen Yates, of 4, Railway St., Moss Lane, Leyland, Preston, Lancs.
Samuel Yates was born in Blackpool c. 1881 to John and Isabella Yates. John was a railway storekeeper who was born in Farington c. 1849. Isabella was born in Leyland c. 1854. Samuel was originally a labourer on the railway, but by 1911 he had switched to labouring at a nearby cotton mill. Samuel had two brothers and two sisters - Mary, born Blackpool c. 1884, Richard, born Farington c. 1888, a cotton weaver (Richard was also to perish in the war), Dora (Dorothy), born Farington c. 1891 and William, born Farington c.1895.
In 1901, the family lived on Farington Lane and by 1911, Isabella had died and Samuel was living with his father, Mary, Dorothy and William at 1 Railway Street, Leyland.
Samuel married Ann Ellen Pye, 29, a weaver living at 4 Railway Street, Leyland, the daughter of John Pye, a labourer on 11 July 1912.
Not much is known about his military career. He enlisted in Limerick, Ireland. The register of soldiers' effects shows that his widow was paid £4. 11. 7., the balance of his account together with a War Gratuity of £12. 10. 0. He died when the hospital ship, Arcadian was torpedoed. Samuel also appears on the Leyland - Church Road Civic Memorial, the Leyland - St.Ambrose C.E. WW1 Plaque and the Leyland - St.Ambrose C.E. WW1 Cross. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The above account is interesting and gives an insight into the use of the Arcadian – a well appointed ship – being used by the G.H.Q. Staff, but later, when it was torpedoed, as a Hospital Ship. Compton Mackenzie gives Sikinos or Sifnos as the islands near where the Arcadian went down as opposed to the C.W.G.C. which gives Milo (Melos); these islands are, however, close together in the southern Aegean.
For more information on the sinking of the Arcadian, visit the excellent page, 'Memoirs & Diaries - Torpedoed in the Aegean Sea'.
Samuel's death was reported as follows:
Note: In his original research William Waring has stated in his notes that Samuel was mentioned in the September 1914 edition of the Leyland parish magazine. I can find no such mention.
Pacific Steam Navigation Co passenger liner Ortona: built in 1899, converted to a cruise ship in 1910 and renamed Arcadian, and sunk by a U-boat in 1917
Picture in the Public Domain
Arcadian sinking after being torpedoed. Men can be seen sliding down ropes into the sea.
Picture in the Public Domain.