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Private Abraham Bert SMITH

1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, 3/8397
Labour Corps 222029

Abraham was born on 13 January 1891 in Spratton.  He was the son of Reuben Smith, a farm labourer from a long-established family in the village, and his wife Elizabeth (née Buckby) and brother of John William and Frank.  The family lived in Smith Street, opposite Home Farm.  All three brothers served in the First World War and sadly, John William was killed in action. After leaving school, Abraham became an ironstone labourer, working for the Brixworth Ironstone Co Ltd.  By 1911 he was living in Northampton and on 26 March 1912 he married May Richards in Northampton.  A son, Sidney Samuel, was born on 19 June of that year.  By the time their second son, John Bert, was born on 2 October 1913 they had moved back to Spratton.

On 15 June 1908 aged 17 Abraham joined the Special Reserve of the Northamptonshire Regiment and undertook regular training over the next few years. In 1913 he was re-engaged for a further six years and appointed Lance Corporal. In August 1914 he and his brother John William were mobilised and allocated to the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. They were sent to France and while waiting to start active service Abraham was demoted back to Private. He and his brother were involved in a number of actions, including the 1st Battle of Ypres. He received serious gunshot wounds to his legs on 2 November 1914, the same day that his brother was killed, when there was heavy shelling of the trenches. He was treated at the military hospital at Rouen before being invalided back to England. He spent some time in hospital in Manchester before being posted back to France in March 1916.  He proved to be still unfit and never returned to active service. He was transferred to the Labour Corps on 30 June 1917 but continued to be unfit and he returned to England for munitions work. He was applied for by his former employer, the Brixworth Ironstone Co Ltd, and he began work as an ironstone labourer on 8 January 1918. He was transferred to the Reserve and finally discharged in February 1919.

Abraham was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  He died in Northampton in June 1952 aged 61.

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MEN WHO SERVED

ADNITT
ARCHER
ARTHUR
AUSTIN
BALDERSON
BALDWIN
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BILLING
BLAKESLEY
BLUNDELL
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BRANSON
BROWN
BUCKBY
BUSWELL
CAPON
CATTELL
CLARKE
COOKE
COPSON
CRANE
DICKENS
DICKERSON
DUNKLEY
ELDRED
ELSDALE
ERSKINE
FOWLES
FRANKLIN
FRISBY
GAMMAGE
GIST
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GOODWIN
GREEN
HAYTER
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HOBLEY
HODGE(S)
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HORNE
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MARTIN
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MIDDLETON (WYKES)
NORMAN
PAGE
PASSEY
PATEMAN
PAYNE
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POWELL
REEVE
RHODES-MOORHOUSE
RICHARDSON
SMITH
SNEDKER
SPEECHLEY
STEVENS
TARPLEY
TARRANT
TAYLOR
THORNTON
TIRRELL
TITE
TREDWELL
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VOKE
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WHATTON
WOOD
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