Samuel Barnes was born in 1889 in Wolverhampton, the son of Samuel and Sarah Barnes. In 1901 they appeared at 15 Wolverhampton Road, Wednesfield, together with Samuel’s brother John and sisters Annie, Clara, Ellen and Maria. Samuel was a pupil at St Thomas’s Church Schools, Wednesfield.
He enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1904 (number 8399) and served for 8 years in South Africa, becoming a Serjeant. After spending 48 hours in the UK, he went back to fight in the First World War, only lasting a month before he was killed on 29 October 1914. An article in the Midland Counties Express dated 25 November 1916 gives some more details:
He was in charge of an outpost and was shot while trying to give warning to his comrades of the movements of the enemy.
By this date his parents were living at 12A St John’s Square. The story “of his gallant end was brought home by an exchanged prisoner of war, who was under his command at the time.” He is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, as well as on the Wednesfield Village Roll of Honour and St John’s Church War Memorial.