Royal Navy  

Rank & Number:       
Petty Officer Stoker, 291887  

23 November 1878; Huddersfield, Yorkshire  

16 July 1915; North Sea (lost overboard)  

Commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial                                            Brother-in-law of Archibald and Daniel Stalker,and
                                  William Wilson

SAMUEL COTTON was born 23 Nov 1878 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, and died 16 Jul 1915, lost overboard from H.M.S. Lance in the North Sea.  He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.  

Barely two weeks before his death, on 5 Jul 1915 at 50 Wellington Street, Glasgow, Samuel (aged 32, Petty Officer/Stoker of HMS Lance, residing 3 Bankhall Street, Glasgow) married by declaration Christina Stalker, daughter of Gilbert Stalker and Hannah Wilson, of Railway Buildings, Fairlie  

In the 1881 Census, Samuel, aged 2, is living 63 Leeds Road North, Huddersfield with parents Robert (32, b. Huddersfield, dyer) and Martha (32, b. Shepley), and siblings Albert Ed (6) and Fred (4)  

In the 1911 Census, aged 32 and Leading Stoker, Royal Navy, he is a visitor at 109 William Street, Milton Regis, Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent  in household of Benjamin and Annie Eliza Jarret    


He enlisted in the Navy on 17 Apr 1899 for 12 years, and signed on again on 9 Mar 1911.  He joined H.M.S. Lance in July 1914; on 5 Aug 1915, the Lance fired the first British shot of the war, when it fired a shell at German ship Königin Luise.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

24 July 1915   

In The Fighting Line; Casualties:  On Tuesday morning, Mrs Stalker, Railway Buildings, Fairlie, received a letter from the Lieut.-Commander of HMS Lance intimating that her son-in-law, P.O. Sam Cotton, had been washed overboard and drowned.  The Lance, which has taken a prominent part in the war, was evidently engaged on patrol work in the North Sea at the time.  It is only about a fortnight since Cotton was married, and much sympathy is expressed towards his young widow.  The Stalker family have been pretty badly hit by the war.  A son-in-law, Pte. H. Gorman, R.S.F., was badly wounded and taken prisoner early in September; and a son, Pte. Archd. Stalker, is at present lying wounded in hospital at Malta


 Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent

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