Private 21182 Harold Stanley Smart

Smart Harold 96 403x600Smart Harold 96 368x600
Apologies for poor quality photo, best to hand.

Died of Wounds on Saturday, 4th November 1916, age 20.
Buried in Grave XII. C. 14A. at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

1st Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 24th Brigade of 8th Division.

Youngest son of Mrs Smart, of 72 Park Lane East, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Old Hill, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 27th May 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, Park Chapel, and Mission Church memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/505881/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
11 Coedpenmaen Road, Pontypridd, Glamorgan.
Thomas Cox (51, Cable Chain Maker, born Tipton), his wife Agnes (49, born Kingswinford), their daughter Marion M. A. Smart (29, Dress Maker, born Tipton) and her 3 children: Archie H. Smart (7, born Old Hill), Harold S. Smart (4, born Old Hill), and Dorothy M. Smart (2, born Old Hill).

1911 Census
72 Park Lane East, Tipton, Staffs.
Marion Mary Ann Smart (39, born Tipton) and her 3 children: Archie Howard (17, Private, 6th Reserve Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, born Old Hill), Harold Stanley (14, Driller in Foundry, born Old Hill), and Dorothy Millicent (12, School, born Old Hill).

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

During September 1916, the Allies had gained the villages of Flers, Gueudecourt and Morval, for once giving the Allies the advantage of the high ground. The next objective was the low ridge between Gueudecourt and the village of Le Transloy - the Transloy Ridges. In mid-October the 1st Worcesters returned to the Somme from Bethune, and on the 19th October took over part of the front line. They marched north, in incessant rain, past Trones Wood, Delville Wood and to the front line beyond Gueudecourt. The 1st Worcesters were in the line from 20th to 22nd October, and again from 25th to 30th October. A heavy artillery exchange, in preparation for an allied attack on the 23rd, caused heavy losses for the Worcesters. Between the 20th and 30th October, when the 1st Worcesters were withdrawn, 35 Other Ranks died.

On October 27th Harold Smart was a part of a large ration party, carrying food to the front line. About midnight the ration party was heavily shelled, and about twenty were killed and wounded. Six Other Ranks were killed on the 27th and 8 on the 28th, some of whom would have been in the ration party.

Private Smart was severely wounded and evacuated back through the Casualty Clearing chain, arriving at the 22nd General Hospital at Camiers on 31st October. An operation was immediately performed to remove a piece of shrapnel from his brain. There appeared to be some progress, but on 3rd November he suddenly became worse, and passed away peacefully on the 4th November.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 3rd April 1915
Letters about/from Archie Smart, brother of Harold Smart. He survived but here was involved in Neuve Chapelle.
Private Archie Smart of the Worcesters, writing home to his mother at 72 Park Lane East, Tipton, gives interesting details of the fighting for Neuve Chapelle. "We did not know about the attack until the night before," he writes, "and we were all very excited about it. The battle started with a bombardment by the artillery at the back of our trenches. It was terrific, and blew up all the German trenches opposite, and killed many of the enemy. Before the smoke had cleared away, the advance was made. Although many of the Germans were willing to give themselves up, some played the "white flag trick", and a lot of our fellows were killed by a machine gun which was turned on them when they went forward to take these men prisoner.
The village of Neuve Chapelle was taken in twenty minutes and the enemy were driven well beyond it. We lost a lot of men, for we were under heavy and rapid fire while they retired to positions they had been preparing for months. Next day we made a charge at some houses still occupied by Germans, and capture a great many prisoners. I was about to bayonet an old fellow, but he pleaded so hard for mercy, and while I was wavering, he got hold of my bayonet, so I let him pass, knowing he would be taken prisoner. We found many lying in the roadway pretending to be wounded or dead. Others were offering their purses and watches, and crying 'Mercy, English!' "

Tipton Herald 25th November 1916
The news has been officially received of the death in a French hospital, from wounds received in action, of Harold, the youngest son of Mrs Smart, Park Lane, Tipton, age 20.
SMART.- November 4th, in hospital in France, from wounds received in action, Harold the dearly loved youngest son of Mrs Smart of Park Lane; age 20. He died that we might live.

Tipton Herald 23rd December 1916
Private Harold Smart, whose home address was 72 Park Lane East, Tipton, of the 1st Worcestershire Regiment, has died of wounds received in action. He was only 20 years of age. He enlisted on the 18th January 1915, and early the following May was sent to France. He came home on leave in June last, and had only been back in France a fortnight when the "Big Push" commenced. From a letter which has been received, it appears that Private Smart left on October 27th with a large party, to carry food for the men in the front line. About midnight news was received that the ration party had been heavily shelled, and about twenty were killed and wounded.
Nothing more was heard of Private Smart until the last day of October, when he was admitted into the 22nd General Hospital at Camiers. An operation was immediately performed, and a piece of shrapnel was removed from his brain. He appeared to be going on nicely until the 3rd November, when he suddenly became worse. About midnight he dropped off into what was thought a quiet sleep, but a sleep from which he never woke. He passed peacefully away on the 4th November.
Private Smart was the youngest son of Mrs Smart of 72 Park Lane East, Tipton, and a grandson of Mr Thomas Cox, Saltney, Cheshire. He was educated at the Tipton Green Council School, and at the time of enlistment was working at the Cable Accessories, Tividale. He was liked and respected by all who knew him.
Mrs Smart has also received news that her other son, Lance-Corporal Archie Smart, of the 1st Worcesters, has been wounded, and is now in hospital in Northampton. In a letter from France he says: "I must speak well of the stretcher-bearers, whoever they were, that carried poor Harold in, as they would have to carry him five miles up to their knees in mud, under heavy shell fire. Many of the stretcher bearers are killed or wounded in carrying men in from the firing line." Letters sent to their friends by comrades of Lance-Corporal Smart have spoken of his gallant conduct in the field.