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Samuel Epstein

Born:
1893
Died:
1987

Basic Information

Unique reference:
E9209
Gender:
Male

Birth

Date of birth:
1893
Place of birth:
Russia
Date arrived in Britain:
1893

Death

Date of death:
1987
Died in combat?:
No
Place of death:
London

Places

Addresses

2 Castville Avenue, London

Schools

Name:
University College London

Synagogues

Name:
Kinloss
Name:
Norrice Lea
 < Close personal journey map
Personal Journey map
Samuel Epstein
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Volunteering for War

Conversation
Although he didn't want to partake in the war, he volunteered for service before conscription started in 1916.

He was placed in the North Staffordshire Regiment, but at the beginning wanted to be with a London Regiment instead.

As a socialist he also insisted on becoming a private. In 1917 he became an officer, and wrote to his brother-in-law, Harry Cooper, advising him to become an Officer too to receive better treatment.

Letters

Samuel wrote copiously during the war, and kept many of the letters until he died. At one point, after getting caught in the gas attack he referred to the 'futility' of the war. However, when talking with his grandson in his later years, he refuted this point of view. Instead he stated only his pride in his role in the war.

One of the letters he saved is thought to be a letter to his wife, addressed only to 'FK'. It is a letter written in case of his demise, containing instructions and emotional goodbyes.

Before his death, at a much later date than the previous letter anticipated, Samuel burnt the majority of his personal letters to his wife.

Frances Klein

When Frances and Samuel met in 1913 she was a pianist. When Samuel was injured by gas in 1917, and one of his lungs permanently damaged, she became his full-time carer.

Family

Spouse

Frances Klein (female)

Children

Sybil Naomi Epstein (female)
Elizabeth Regina Epstein (female)

Military Record

Date enlisted/conscripted:
1914
Rank at discharge/death:
Officer
Sustained injuries:
Gassed in 1917
Assignments
Regiment:
North Staffordshire
Battalion/unit:
2/6 Battalion Territorial Force
Posting:
April 1916 moved to Ireland; Dublin and then Curragh to quell the troubles there.
Jan 1917 Moved to Fovant, Salisbury Plain.
Campaigns:
25 Feb 1917 Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front.
The capture of Bourlon Wood (Battle of Cambrai).

Gallery

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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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