Samuel was born in Wolverhampton in 1888, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Thacker. In 1901, he was living with his parents, sister Fanny and brother Ernest, at 5 Middle Cross Street, Wolverhampton. In 1906, Samuel enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 7833). His mother died in 1909 at the age of 51. By 1911, his sister was married to a Frederick Harris, and they had a son, Frederick Earnest. All three were still living with Samuel, his brother Ernest and his widowed father at 5 Middle Cross Street. By this date, Samuel was now listed as a private soldier in the Army.
When war broke out, Samuel was in South Africa. He transferred to France and Flanders, disembarking on 4 October 1914. However, he was killed in action on 29 October 1914. The Midland Counties Express of 7 August 1915 stated that his parents had been officially notified of his death. He is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.