Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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6979112   Fusilier Samuel John Purvis
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 29/12/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 25/04/1942 (Killed in Action)
Age: 23
Summary      
Samuel John Purvis was the son of George Purvis and Jane Purvis (nee McMaster), of Cookstown. He was born in 1919. Samuel Purvis enlisted in 1937 and had seen service in Egypt and Palestine. Fusilier Samuel Purvis was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers during the Battle of Malta. On 25th April 1942, the enemy launched many air raids on the island (as many as 20-25 on that day alone), during which Fusilier Samuel Purvis lost his life.
Further Information
Samuel John Purvis was the son of George Purvis and Jane Purvis (nee McMaster), of Cookstown. He was born in 1919.
Known family: George Purvis, Jane Purvis (nee McMaster), Samuel John Purvis born about 1919), George Purvis, Nell Purvis.
The family lived near the Red Bridge, Drapersfield, and then Church Street, Cookstown.
Samuel Purvis joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers on 27th December 1937 and had seen service in Egypt and Palestine.
Fusilier Samuel Purvis was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers during the Battle of Malta.
On 25th April 1942, the enemy launched many air raids on the island (as many as 20-25 on that day alone), during which Fusilier Samuel Purvis lost his life. The list of casualties on that day was substantial.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th May 1942: Killed on Active Service
PURVIS – April 1942, in the Middle East, Fusilier Samuel John Purvis, Royal Irish Fusiliers, eldest son of Mr George Purvis, of Church Street. Cookstown. Died of wounds from enemy action.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th May 1942: Killed on Active Service
Notification has been received by Mr George Purvis, of Church Street. Cookstown, that his eldest son, Fusilier Samuel John Purvis, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has died in the Middle East from wounds caused by enemy action. His other son, George, is serving with the same regiment.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 24th April 1943:
PURVIS – In loving memory of my dear son, Samuel John, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who died of wounds on 27th April 1942. ‘Too good in life to be forgotten.’ Ever remembered by his father, step-mother, sisters and brothers (George on active service). Church Street, Cookstown.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 4th December 1943:
Mr George Purvis, of Church Street, Cookstown, has just received a General Service medal with the Palestine clasp, awarded to his son, Fusilier Samuel J Purvis, aged 24, who was killed in action in April 1942. He has a younger brother serving overseas.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th April 1944:
PURVIS – Cherished memories of my dear son, Samuel John, who died as the result of enemy action in Malta on 25th April 1942. ‘Only asleep.’ Always remembered by his father, step-mother, brothers (George on active service in Malta) and sisters (Nell on Women's Auxiliary Air Force (W.A.A.F.)). Church Street, Cookstown.
Fusilier Samuel Purvis is buried in a collective grave (three people) at Pembroke Military Cemetery on the island of Malta. His iinscription reads THY WILL BE DONE. The collective grave is almost certainly down to limitation of space in the cemetery.
Samuel J Purvis grave
Samuel’s younger brother, George Purvis, was also with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He survived the war.
Fusilier Samuel Purvis is commemorated on locally on Cookstown Cenotaph.
The CWGC record Fusilier Samuel John Purvis as the son of George Purvis and of Jane Purvis (nee McMaster) of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Red Bridge, Drapersfield Cookstown East Family lived near Red Bridge 54.629275 -6.707198
2 Church Street Cookstown South Family lived in Church Street 54.638481 -6.744245
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 FindAGrave.com Photo of Fusilier Samuel Purvis' grave
2 Flickr Photo of Fusilier Samuel Purvis' grave
3 Malta War Diary - April 1942 Fusilier Samuel Purvis listed as casualty on 26th April
4 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Fusilier Samuel Purvis' grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021