SMITH, Francis Edward, "Frank"

No.41845, Sapper, Francis Edward SMITH
Aged 23

70th Field Coy., Royal Engineers
Killed in Action on Saturday, 7th July 1917

Francis Edward Smith was born in Ingham in 1894,(Thingoe Q1-1894 4A:782), son of Edward Arnold and Ada Walsh SMITH (née COBB).

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at Home Cottage, Ingham with his father Edward A SMITH [41] game dealer born Bury St Edmunds; his mother Ada W [32] born Malvern Wells, Worcester; sister Annie [8]; brothers Sidney W [4] and Stanley S [2]. All the children were born in Ingham.

1911 census...Aged 17, apprentice engine driver, he was at Home Cottage, Ingham with his parents; sister Annie; brothers Sidney William, Stanley Seymour, Edward Bertram [8] and Reginald Percy [4], both born in Ingham.

From the pension card, the family were still at Home Cottage.

He enlisted in Kingston on Thames when resident in Ingham

Surrey recruitment registers show he attested on 28th August 1914, in Kingston on Thames, giving his age as 20 years 0 months a motor engineer born Ingham, Suffolk 5 feet 5.75 inches ( 167 cm) tall, weighing 139 lbs (63.2 kg), brown eyes, dark brown hair, chest 38" to 40" (96.5 to 101.6 cm).
For no apparent reason "Soldiers Died" has him born in Sheffield when having his other details correct.
He died at No.26 Field Ambulance. Dying of his wounds and no service record available it cannot be exactly stated where or when he was wounded, but as he died in a Field Ambulance (always close to the action) it is almost certain he was in the area shown below as that was where 70th Coy spent all of July 1917. They were making and repairing communication trenches BRIDOON LANE; ORANGE LANE; ORCHARD SUPPORT AND CORPS LINE and taping out new trenches. Casualties were 1 OR wounded 7th - 5 OR wounded 14th - 1 OR wounded 16th and 1 officer killed 2 OR wounded on 20th.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Frank Smith is buried in Monchy Military Cemetery, grave 1:G:14

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details