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Samuel was born in Wolverhampton in 1888, the son of William Thomas and Sarah Cattell. His father died in 1890, so by 1891 he was living with his mother at No 1 Court (no 4 house) Cleveland Street, Wolverhampton, along with his brothers Isaac, Thomas, Philip, William and John, and sisters Maria and Nellie. They were at Court 6, Peel Street, by 1901.In 1911 they were at 24 Little Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton, and Samuel was a house painter.

He enlisted with the 3rd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, but was attached to the 1st Battalion (number 9649). He first served in France from 19 January 1915. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal “For conspicuous gallantry; he did fine work reconnoitring the enemy until he was severely wounded.” The Bilston awards committee presented him with a gold watch in recognition of this award, which was engraved with

Presented to Sergt Samuel Cattell on him gaining the DCM by Brig General T E Hickman CB DSO MP on behalf of the awards committee Bilston 19th July 1919

He worked at John Harper Limited in Willenhall as a moulders apprentice, before working at Sankeys from 1937 onwards until his death. When war was declared in 1939 he offered his services but was turned down because of his age. He died in January 1951 and is buried in Bilston Cemetery.