Private 24119 Edward Smith

Smith Edward 96 436x600

Killed in Action on Thursday, 24th January 1918, age 26.
Buried in Grave IV. C. 4. at Cement House Cemetery, Langemark-Poelkapelle, West-V., Belgium.

15th Bn., Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt.). 105th Brigade of 35th Division.

Son of Abraham Smith, of 6, Peel Place, Peel St., Tipton.
Born: Rowley, Staffs, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/98106/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
75 Horseley Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Abraham Smith (31, Boarder, Widower, Canal Boat Loader, born Great Bridge), his wife Mary Jane (31, born Tipton), and their 6 children: Elizabeth (11, born Tipton), Edward (9, born Tipton), Edith (10, born Tipton), Hannah (7, born Tipton), Maud (4, born Tipton), Clara (2, born Tipton), and Annie (11 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
183 Bloomfield Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Living in the household of George and Sarah Perks were:
Abraham Smith (41, Boarder, Widower, Labourer in Sewerage Works, born Great Bridge), and his 3 children: Edward (19, Miner, born Tipton), Edith (10, born Tipton), and Harry (4, born Tipton).

Personal Data

The 15th Sherwood Foresters was initially a Bantam Battalion for men less than the 5' 3'' required for other infantry Battalions. By the end of 1916 the quality of Bantam replacements became sub-standard; in common with the other Bantam Battalions, replacements from then on were average conscripts. As Edward Smith died in 1918, it cannot be assumed that he was a Bantam by height.

After Edward's death his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £15/18/8d (15 pounds, 18 shillings and 8 pence). This was shared equally between his 4 sisters and part legatees: Edith, Clara, Alice M. and Hannah, between June 1918 and January 1919. His War Gratuity of £13/10/0d (13 pounds and 10 shillings) was also shared between the same 4 sisters, in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Edward had enlisted in January 1915.

Action resulting in his death

After spending Christmas 1917 at School Camp, near Poperinghe, then being de-loused on New Year's Eve, on the 9th January the 15th Sherwood Foresters moved to Whitemill Camp, Elverdinge. On the 16th January they moved into support, and on the 20th moved to take over the Front Line. The period was notable for tough trench and patrol warfare with rain and snow making conditions grim for both sides.

On 24th January, an incendiary shell entered Ferdan House pill box (near Poelcappelle), killing 2/Lt. S. Price M.C., 2/Lt. A. Hogan, and 2 Other Ranks. The Other Ranks were Fred Clarke of Grimsby, and Edward Smith of Tipton. Price and Hogan were initially buried in Pheasant Trench Cemetery, and now have a Special Memorial in Cement House Cemetery, as their graves were subsequently lost. Fred Clarke and Edward Smith lie side by side in Cement House Cemetery, near Langemarck.
[information extracted from: "The Blast of War" by Maurice Bacon and David Langley]

Newspaper Cuttings