10/ 3216 Lance Corporal Sam Cattell – Wellington Infantry Regiment

Sam Cattell was born on the at Leicester on the 1st January 1888.[i]

It is possible that Sam like a large number of young single men was encouraged to come to New Zealand for employment.

On the 17th June 1911 Sam married Mabel Edith Snowdon[ii] the couple had two sons James Frederick Cattell, 19th March 1912 and Samuel (Sam) Ernest Cattell, 1st June 1914.

When Sam Cattell entered Trentham Military camp on the 23rd August 1915, his youngest son Samuel was just one. Sam
is listed as a labourer working for the Gear Meat Company and the family was living in Mortimer Terrace, Wellington.

10/3216 Private Sam Cattell left New Zealand on the 13th November 1915 with the
8th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry.[iii]

10/3216 Private Sam Cattell c1915 

The 8th Reinforcements arrived in Egypt on the 20th December 1915 and were
placed in the training battalion, Private Cattell on the 9th January 1916 was posted
to the 17th (Ruahine) Company, 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment. The
Battalion was training for service on the Western Front. The Battalion arrived in
France in April 1916 and spent some time in Armentieres a ‘quiet sector’ adapting
to trench warfare on the Western Front.

The Battle of the Somme began on the 1st July 1916 with British and Allied forces
attacking the German lines. The New Zealand Division was initially out of the battle
but conducted aggressive patrols and ‘displays’ in their sector to engage the German
forces opposing them. During this phase of activity on the 10th July 1916,  
10/3216 Private Cattell was promoted to  Lance Corporal.

The Official History of the Wellington Regiment notes that following a frantic night
and day of 19th / 20th July 1916 in response to a number of raids;[iv]

The enemy bombardment was of exceptional fury, 8000 shells being flung into the area, exclusive
of trench mortar projections. The whole ground was turned over as if by a volcanic upheaval and
the local features altered as to be unrecognisable.

It is likely that Lance Corporal Cattell was killed, with three of his 17th Ruahine Company,
in the bombardment. The four men are buried in close proximity in the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres; 10/2962 Private Ernest Henry Hawke,
10/4013 Private Kaj Topp, 10/2675 Corporal Wallace Arthur Lever and
10/3216 Lance Corporal Sam Cattell[v].

10/3216 Lance Corporal S Cattell, Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery

Lance Corporal left a widow, Mabel Edith Cattell and his two young sons aged four and two.
Mabel Edith Cattell and her family moved out to Plimmerton / Paremata in early 1920’s as her husband’s medals were sent to her c/- The Post Office, Plimmerton in September 1921. The mailing address was later changed to Paremata.

James Cattell was enrolled at Plimmerton School in 1920.[vi] James’ younger brother also was enrolled at Plimmerton School in 1925.
The family later moved to Lower Hutt and it is probable that in 1930 Mabel Edith Cattell remarried to Oivinind.[vii]

Both James Frederick and Samuel Ernest Cattell served in the 2NZEF.  

Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 – 1919: NZETC
Seventy Five Years 1904 – 1979; Plimmerton School and its Environment

10/3216 Private Sam Cattell: Auckland Cenotaph
10/3216 Private Same Cattell, grave II E 38 Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres: War Grave Project

[i]   Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 10/3216 Lance Corporal Sam Cattell
[ii]  Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 10/3216 Lance Corporal Sam Cattell
[iii] Auckland Cenotaph Database 10/3126 Sam Cattell
[iv] The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 - 1919
[v]  Commonwealth War Graves Commission
[vi] 1920 Plimmerton School Class
[vii] NZ BDM

Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres