LIEUTENANT S. B. COMBE
NORTH IRISH HORSE
SAMUEL BARBOUR COMBE was the third son of Abram Combe (O.R., 1866-69), J.P., of Donaghcloney House, County Down, and Emilie Caroline his wife.
He entered the School in 1894, and left in 1897 to complete his education in France. He was Master of the County Down Staghounds for seven years, till his death. In 1911 he joined the North Irish Horse, and in 1914 was appointed local Intelligence Officer for the Counties of Antrim and Down, but relinquished these duties shortly after the outbreak of War in order to accompany his Regiment to the Front, with which he took part in the retreat and subsequent advance of August and September, 1914.
On September 30th, while on outpost duty with his troop, before the German position on the Aisne, he received an order to ascertain whether the Germans were still holding Condé-sur-Aisne in force. He undertook this task alone, fully appreciating, as an expert scout officer, its hazardous nature. He succeeded in advancing across the plain to the south-west of Condé to within a short distance of Condé bridge, although this area was swept by artillery and rifle fire from the German position on the higher land on the other side of the river, and presented little cover. As he did not return patrols were sent out later to search for him, but these patrols were fired on from Condé and were forced to return. He was officially reported missing on October 2nd.
In December certain information reached his relatives, through neutral channels, from a German Officer who himself has since been killed, to the effect that Lieut. Combe had been shot by the Germans while approaching this position. This German Officer paid a high tribute to the British Officer’s courage, and intimated that the Germans had buried him at Condé Castle, which stands several miles inside the German position. In recognition of his bravery the enemy accorded him a formal burial and held a service over his grave, on which they placed a cross with the dead Officer’s name and Regiment, and the words “Pro Patria” upon it. He was killed on September 30th, 1914. Age 35.
Lieut. Combe married, in 1902, Mary Teresa, second daughter of Colonel Thomas Waring, D., sometime M.P. for County Down, of Waringstown, Co. Down, and left two sons.