Major Samuel Britton McConnell (13070) served in 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during World War Two. Born on 6th October 1897, he was the son of Robert McConnell and Frances McConnell of 46 Mountjoy Prison Cottages, Inns Quay, Dublin, Ireland.
Robert McConnell was a warden at Mountjoy Prison before taking up a post at Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast, Co. Antrim. By 1911, the family lived at Rosewood Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim.
Friends, family, and fellow servicemen knew Samuel as likable and even-tempered. Brothers James Kerr McConnell and Robert Brooks McConnell both served in World War One.
Samuel enlisted in October 1916. He served with 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in France from January 1917. On 21st March 1918, he became a prisoner of war after the Fifth Army Disaster.
Between the wars, he spent five years with King’s African Rifles becoming a temporary Captain in 1927. By August 1938, before the outbreak of World War Two, McConnell was a Major.
Remembering Major McConnell
Samuel Britton McConnell died on 19th April 1942 in Yenangyaung, Burma. He was in command of the battalion after the death of Lieutenant Colonel RGS Cox. The battalion had become surrounded and Major McConnell set a “magnificent example” in his gallant leadership.
His name features on Panel 11 of the Rangoon Memorial, Taukkyan War Cemetery, Burma. It is also on the War Memorial in Fortwilliam and Macrory Presbyterian Church, Belfast, Co. Antrim.