Samuel Yates first appears in a census in 1901. He was living with his grandparents at Great Bridge Street West Bromwich. The household comprised of Samuel Johnson (head) a 56 year old puddler in the ironworks. His wife was Sarah Johnson, 53. Elizabeth Yates their married daughter was 25 and Nellie Johnson was their 10 year old daughter. Their two grandsons, Samuel Yates 3 and Albert Yates 2 were listed. The husband of Elizabeth and father of the two boys was not there.
Elizabeth Johnson had married William HenryYates at St. Peter’s Church, West Bromwich in 1896 (Sandwell Register Office 29/2/490)
In the 1911 census the Yates family was living in Ash Grove Shotton. The family is listed as follows. William Henry Yates 42 an iron worker born in West Bromwich. Elizabeth his wife of 14 years was 36 years old. Their children were Samuel 13 an office boy at the ironworks, Albert 12, Sarah 8, Maria 6, Alice 3, William Henry 1 and Elizabeth 1.
Samuel’s Service Records exist and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk They show that he said he was aged 19 yrs and 2 months when he enlisted at Llandudno on the 15th August 1915. (See below*) He was 5 feet 61/2 inches tall. His next of Kin was his mother Elizabeth Yates and his trade was listed as ‘Ironworker’.
In September and November 1915 he found himself ‘admonished’ and lost pay for being absent and for irregular conduct in line
His medal card tells us that he first entered a theatre of war (France) on 5th December 1915
He was killed in Action on 7th February 1916. He had served 178 days.
There is a relatives form in his records which names Elizabeth Yates, his mother and his brothers Albert, William and Herbert. his sisters were Sarah, Maria, Alice, Elizabeth, Ellen and Lillian. (In September 1919 they were all living at 20 Dee View, Shotton). There was a subsequent note in his records that is damaged and not easy to read but seems to say that Samuel’s father had died. (In fact he had died in 1918 aged 48)
There is some correspondence in the records between the army and the family concerning the receipt of medals and a commemorative scroll.
Samuel Yates in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his mother Elizabeth who was paid £2. 10s 2d on the 15th May 1916 and his War Gratuity of £3 on the 23rd August 1919
Samuel’s mother Elizabeth died in 1965 aged 90 and on her gravestone in St. Deniol’s Churchyard Samuel is remembered – ” Samuel YATES, Killed in action 7 February 1916 age 17″
Imperial War Museum – http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/60321 – Description – Gravestone with a cross and stepped base. – Inscription
Treasured Memories/ Of Dear Father/ William H. Yates,/ Died Jan. 18. 1918,/ Age 48./ Also Dear Mother/ Elizabeth Yates,/ Died Oct. 6. 1965,/ Age 90./ Also Their Son/ Samuel,/ Killed In Action Feb. 7. 1916/ Age 17/ ‘In God’s Keeping’./ A Token Of Love From Nellie. (Nellie was his Aunt, see 1901 census above.)
All the Army Records show Samuel as being older, but on the Grave stone, it stated that he was 17 years old, so he must have told the Army that he was older. The census records also reinforce the theory that he lied about his age on enlistment.
He is also remembered on the War Memorial at Hawarden and on the Memorial Screen in St Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton.
There is no index card for Samuel Yates in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden.