Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Second Lieutenant Samuel McCullagh Linden

 

 

Linden 1

 

Samuel McCullagh Linden was born on 30 September 1891 at Hackballs Cross, County Louth, the only child of RIC constable Robert Linden and his wife Elizabeth (formerly Baird).

Linden studied theology at Trinity College, Dublin, and from 1910 to 1913 served in the university's Officer Training Corps.

On 14 April 1915 he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the 10th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. However he had to declined it owing to the ill-health of his parents.

In November 1915 he was awarded a testimonial on vellum by the Royal Humane Society for having, "on 19th July last rescued two girls from 12 feet of water at Castlerock, County Derry." (Belfast News-Letter 25 September 1915)

Linden enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Dublin on 25 February 1916 (No.2123), joining the regiment at Antrim on 4 March, where he was posted to H Squadron.

On 24 April 1916 he married Florence Elizabeth Neill at Templemore, Londonderry. Their son Robert Desmond was born on 28 January 1917.

Linden applied for a commission in the artillery or infantry on 1 August 1916. He was posted as a cadet gunner to B Reserve Brigade of the Royal Horse Artillery at St John's Wood, London, on 9 November, and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 20 January the following year.

On 28 April 1917 he embarked for France as part of 323 Siege Battery. The following month he was posted to the 90th Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery (90th Heavy Artillery Group), which had arrived in France at the beginning of April and was on the Ypres front.

Linden was killed in action at Vlamertinghe on 31 July 1917 - the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres. The war diary of the 90th Brigade for that day states:

Attack by 5th Army on the Salient front. Commenced 3.50 am. Group fired 1564 rounds. 2 (?) (Capt Strain of 214S. & Lt Linden group (?) officer) killed: also 2 telephonists & 3 wounded.

He was mentioned in Field Marshal Haig's despatch of 7 November 1917. (Captain Strain was also mentioned.)

Linden's body was buried in the Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Plot 5, Row G, No.16, and marked with a cross. After the war when the cemetery was checked for graves, there was no sign of it. It is believed that the site had been subjected to shellfire and many graves destroyed. In 1922, Imperial War Graves Commission considered erecting a row of special memorials for the missing graves, but it was finally decided that it would be more appropriate to add their names to a memorial to the missing as that was more applicable to the believed status of their bodies. Linden is therefore commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlanderen, Belgium, Panel 9.

There is also a memorial to him in Clonallan Church of Ireland Churchyard, County Down, Northern Ireland (see below). It reads:

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
ELIZABETH
WIFE OF ROBERT LINDEN
DIED 5TH JANUARY 1934
ALSO OF THEIR SON
SAMUEL LINDEN B. A.
MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES
KILLED IN ACTION 31ST JULY 1917
AT YPRES

 

Linden 2

 

Image 1, a photograph of Linden with his service medals and Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf, was kindly provided by William Gordon. Images 2 and 3 kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org.