Sam’s war received extensive coverage in the pages of the Shipley Times & Express, starting with a report on 16 April 1915:Mr Sam Turner, only son of Mr Jeremiah Turner of Rosemount, Idle, has joined the Forces in Australia.Before enlisting he despatched a cablegram to his parents to ask for their consent and on receiving a reply in the affirmative, he ‘threw his cap in the air and jumped for joy.’Sam went out some time ago to study scientific farming in the hope of ultimately becoming an agriculturalist at the Antipodes on a somewhat ambitious scale.But since war broke out he has been much unsettled for he has had a keen desire to do his duty to his King and Country by helping to inflict a much needed castigation on the German Hun
In an interesting letter just to hand, he says: ‘I am now a soldier of the King and feel jolly proud of it too. I
am anxious to play the game like a true Britisher.’
On 25 September 1916 we read:Sgt Sam Turner, son of Mr and Mrs Jeremiah Turner of Rosemount, Bradford Road, paid a short visit home during the weekend and he was accorded a hearty reception by his many friends.Sgt Turner went to Australia a few years ago with a view to engaging in agricultural pursuits but when war broke out the call to do his duty for the Motherland was too strong for him and he immediately joined the Forces at the Antipodes.He fought on the Gallipoli Peninsula and also in France where he took part in the ‘Big Push.’ He is one of the few Australians who have been chosen to train as officers and with that purpose in view he is now studying at Cambridge.
The Shipley Times & Express took the unusual step of paying a tribute to Sam in their editorial comment columnLieut Sam Turner of Idle has given his life in the highest of all causes and his name is enscrolled on our national Roll of Honour.A lad with high ideals, ‘he hath done what he could’ in the interest of humanity and he has set a fine example to the rising generation.Here is our humble tribute to this young, heroic officer, whom we had all learnt to love:A true son of the Empire, bright and brave,Willing to live or die his land to save;Great-hearted, noble-minded, fearless, free,He worshipped at the shrine of liberty.High purpose ever o’er his pathway shone,As in the hearts of heroes dead and gone;Love for his fellows did his soul inspireService and sacrifice, his life’s desire.Not mean reward of worldly wealth or fame –To uplift humanity his loyal aim; He hailed his quest and followed it afar,Progress his watchword, truth his guiding star.Thus when across the world the fierce storm broke,The love heroic in his heart awoke;He saw his duty clear and at the call,Brought honour, strength and life and gave them all.And so they die our bonny lads and brave,Our Empire and our liberty to save.Fighting for justice to their latest breath,Champions of Freedom, faithful unto death.
News of Sam’s death was published on 4 May 1917:Mr and Mrs Jeremiah Turner of Rosemont, Bradford Road, Idle, have this week received the sad intelligence that their only son, Lieutenant Samuel Turner, has sacrificed his life for his country.Sam was widely known and he was beloved by all who knew him. Even from being a lad he was deeply interested in travel and his aim always was to leave the mother country for the laudable purpose of helping strengthen the bulwarks of Empire in the lands across the sea.He emigrated to Australia just about the time of the outbreak of war in the hope of engaging in agricultural pursuits and secured a situation on a Government farm in New South Wales.The war had not been in progress long before he cabled to his parents asking for their consent to his joining up. This they gave and as showing how anxious he was to do his bit, on receiving a reply from home in the affirmative, he threw his cap in the air and almost danced for joy.After training in Australia and in Egypt, he
served at the Dardanelles and elsewhere.A smart, educated young man, he soon won promotion and last year, when a non-commissioned officer, he was honoured by being chosen for a commission.He came over to England for his training and returned to the Continent about Christmas.He took a deep interest in the welfare of the men under his command and there was little wonder that he was so popular amongst them.Before going to the Antipodes Lieutenant Turner was associated with church work at Idle and he rendered valuable aid to the Boy Scout movement. He was a lad who was always ready to put himself out of the way to do a good turn.In verity, he was one of those who could be said to have ‘done good by stealth and blushed to find fame.’The news of his death was received with great regret by all who knew him and much sympathy is felt with his family who are well-known and highly respected. The deceased hero was twenty-two years of age.
Sam was also picked out for special praise at a memorial service reported on 11 May 1917Preaching at the Idle Parish Church on Sunday evening, the vicar, the Rev W T Forster, said that three more local lads had fallen in the war – Lieut Sam Turner, Pte Frederick James Halliday and Pte Henry Walter Hutton.These lads had finished the good fight for righteousness, liberty and truth. They had died that we might live and we owed to each the debt of deepest gratitude.It was making no distinction to say that Lieut Turner – Sam as he was well-known – was especially dear to church people.
For many years his parents had been associated with the church in which his father had been warden and Lieut Turner was one of their own bringing up.He served as a boy in the choir, was a scholar in the Sunday School and took a real interest in the work of the church.While on leave at Christmas he visited the school and expressed to the speaker his great pleasure at once more being able to see the school he loved so well.He was a lad of bright disposition and full of hope. His country’s honour was his goal and for it he gave his all.