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Private John William (William John) SMITH (8964)

1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment 2251417, 3/8964

John William was born in 1893 in Spratton, the son of Reuben Smith, a farm labourer from a long-established family in Spratton, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Buckby) and brother of Frank and Abraham.  The family lived in Smith Street and all three brothers served in the First World War. John William became a farm labourer but also, in 1910 aged 17, he joined the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment and underwent regular training while still working on the farm.

In August 1914 at the outbreak of the war, he and his brother Abraham were mobilised and posted to France with the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.  They saw their first major action near Pilkhem in October 1914 and then moved on to take part in the fighting closer to Ypres. John William was killed in action on 2 November 1914 in heavy shelling of the trenches near Ypres and his brother was wounded later that same night.  When the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment were pulled out of the front line two weeks later, only five officers and 350 soldiers returned out of a battalion strength of over 900 men. John’s widowed mother heard unofficially that he had been killed and she asked Miss Mildred Bevan of Spratton House to enquire at the War Office on her behalf.  There was no official confirmation of John’s death until 25 May 1915. He was 21 years of age.

John William was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal and his death is recorded on the Menin Gate at Ypres and on the Spratton War Memorial.  He was one of the first Spratton men to be killed in the war.

MORE INFORMATION

Where he lived in Spratton

Genealogy Data

Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium
Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium
Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium
Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium
The name of J Smith 8964 on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium, the memorial to those who have no known grave
The name of J Smith 8964 on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium, the memorial to those who have no known grave
The name of J Smith 8964 on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium, the memorial to those who have no known grave
The name of J Smith 8964 on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium, the memorial to those who have no known grave

MEN WHO SERVED

ADNITT
ARCHER
ARTHUR
AUSTIN
BALDERSON
BALDWIN
BATTAMS
BILLING
BLAKESLEY
BLUNDELL
BOWERS
BRANSON
BROWN
BUCKBY
BUSWELL
CAPON
CATTELL
CLARKE
COOKE
COPSON
CRANE
DICKENS
DICKERSON
DUNKLEY
ELDRED
ELSDALE
ERSKINE
FOWLES
FRANKLIN
FRISBY
GAMMAGE
GIST
GOODEN
GOODWIN
GREEN
HAYTER
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HOBLEY
HODGE(S)
HODSON
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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
TURLAND
VINEY
VOKE
WADHAMS
WARD
WARWICKS
WHATTON
WOOD
WYKES
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