Camus is a quaint old graveyard found on the scenic Curragh Road, Coleraine,
with a history going back to 580AD.
When visiting old graveyards I often come across a stone that sparks an interest and I try to find out
more information. In this case the stone of interest involved a Samuel Henry, who lost his life at
Coleraine Railway Station on the 12th July 1905.
I began by locating Samuel's death certificate. It states that Samuel Henry of Castleroe, Male, Labourer, passed on the 12th July 1905 at the Workhouse Infirmary, Coleraine, aged 17 years. Cause of death was compression to the brain due to injury from train - Accidental. Certificate received from H S Morrison, Coroner for County Londonderry. Inquest held on 13th July 1905.
Also commemorated on the stone is a Mary Henry who passed in Castleroe on the 9th July 1897. Mary Henry, female, Spinster, 77 years, Servant. Cause of Death, old age, no medical attendant. A. Henry, son, present at death, Castleroe. At this point we could guess that Mary is Samuel's Grandmother.
We now knew Samuel's birth year as circa 1888 being aged 17 in 1905. Samuel Henry was born in Castleroe on the 9th November 1888 to Alexander Henry, Labourer and Anabella Henry formally McAfee.
I then found the family in the 1901 Census of Ireland living in House 30 in Castleroe. The house had 2 rooms, 3 windows and 5 outhouses which included a cow house, a piggery, a fowl house, a barn and a shed.
Here we can see Samuel 'Sam' aged 12, with his parents Alexander and Bella,
and his siblings Sandy, James and Georgina.
OSNI Historical Third Edition 1900-1907 map showing Castleroe.
The full story of the Inquest regarding Samuel's accident was found in the
Coleraine Chronicle printed on the 15th July 1905.
He had left home in the morning, rejoicing in a well earned holiday, and in the prospect of his excursion - a rare experience for one so constantly at work. The return journey was completed and the boy in his exuberance and vigour hastened to join his fellows in the station and prepare for the homeward walk with the Orangemen of his locality and at that moment he was snatched from earth, never again to see or be seen by the mother who had in the morning sped him on his way to an enjoyable trip. For the parents and other relatives in their sudden and sore affliction there is widespread sympathy.
Coleraine Chronicle 15th July 1905