According to his attestation papers dated July 29, 1915 at Toronto, Samuel Handley was born on October 7, 1887 in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England. He listed his wife Alice Handley, Humber Bay (later crossed out and 334 Wellesley Street, Toronto written in) as his next of kin. He was a gardener; a member of an active militia with two years previous military experience with the Volunteers 4th Berkshire in England. He was 28 years and 9 months of age and stood 5 feet 4 inches tall. He had brown eyes, dark hair and complexion. He had a mole on his right side and three vaccination marks on his left arm. He was a member of the Church of England.
According to the 1911 census Samuel emigrated to Canada from England in 1905.
In the 1921 Toronto city directory he is listed as a market gardener living on the north side of Queen Street, Humber Bay.