Lance Corporal 20863 Frederick Smith

Smith Frederick Memorial Card 96 856x500
Memorial card courtesy of Melanie Richards.

Smith Frederick 96 300x658
Helles Memorial panel courtesy of Steve Moore and Margaret Carter, 2014.

Died of Wounds at Sea on Saturday, 4th December 1915, age 21.
Commemorated on Panel 104 to 113 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.

Son of Mr Thomas Smith, and the late Mrs Hannah Smith, of 19 Britannia Street, Tividale, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Osmaston, Derbyshire, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Tividale.

First landed Balkans, 6th September 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, Mission Church, and St. Augustine memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/682061/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Frederick Smith registered June quarter 1895 at Shardlow, Derbyshire.
Frederick was actually born at 11.15pm on 6th May 1895; his twin sister Louisa was born 15 minutes later at 11.30pm.

1901 Census
13 Brickhouse Lane, Great Bridge, Staffs.
Thomas Smith (42, Widower, Furnaceman, born Bilston), his wife Hannah (42, born Bilston) and their children: Eliza (23, Domestic Servant, born Bilston), Andrew (13, born Bilston), Violet (10, born Derby), Frederick (6, born Derby), Louisa (5, born Derby), and grandson Joseph Hopkins (2, born Derby).

1911 Census
1 Court 1 House, Tudor Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Smith (54, Widower, Foundryman, born Bilston), his children: Andrew (22, Labourer, born Bilston), Violet (18, Bedstead Blacker, born Derby), Frederick (16, Labourer, born Derby), Louisa (16, born Derby), and Thomas (9, born Derby).

Personal Data

Frederick Smith appears on the Roll of Honour of Tividale Ward with an address of 19 Britannia Street, Tividale.

Frederick's outstanding army pay and allowances of £5/8/5d (5 pounds, 8 shillings and 5 pence) was paid to his father, Thomas, in February 1916. A further £0/6/0d (6 shillings) was paid in February 1917, and finally Frederick's War Gratuity of £3/0/0d (3 pounds) was paid in August 1919.

Action resulting in his death

The 4th Worcesters landed in Gallipoli on 25th April 1915, Frederick Smith landed on 6th September as a reinforcement. By then the last significant action at Gallipoli had already taken place, at the Battle of Scimitar Hill on 21st August 1915. Despite this, subsequent days would have brought casualties from the continual shelling and sniping, and Frederick was severely wounded, presumably in late November or early December.

In November the weather changed from autumn to stormy winter. On November 26th, there was a severe thunderstorm and rain fell in sheets. The rain accumulated in front of the Worcesters' trenches which were facing uphill, suddenly the parapets gave way flooding the trenches as if a dam had burst. This swept away men and kit, some men were drowned in their dugouts. The rain continued for the next day.

On the next night, the 27th/28th November, a sharp frost set in and the rain turned to a blizzard of snow and bitter wind. Several more men were drowned or died of exposure, frostbite affected a large proportion of the remainder. Over 5 days, the Worcester's strength had fallen from 700 to 300. Despite these conditions, which also affected the Turks, there was still spasmodic rifle fire.

It is possible that Frederick was a casualty of the severe conditions, or from the continuing sniping. He was evacuated from Gallipoli on the Hospital Ship 'Guildford Castle', but died on board on 4th December and was buried at sea. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 18th December 1915
The death is officially reported of Private F. Smith, of Britannia Street, Tividale, one of the 13th Worcesters. He was wounded at Gallipoli and died on the way home. His body was buried at sea.
(Editor: It is possible he was originally 13th Worcesters - this was a Reserve Battalion and never went abroad.)

Tipton Herald 22nd January 1916
Lance Corporal F. Smith was attached to the 4th Worcesters. Prior to enlistment at the outbreak of war, Corporal Smith was an Assistant Scoutmaster of the 1st Tipton (Norton Griffith's Own) Baden Powell Scouts. He proceeded to the Dardanelles where he was severely wounded and while being conveyed on board H.M. Hospital Ship 'Guildford Castle' died on December 4th and was buried at sea the following day (December 5th).