SMITH, Ernest William

No.9985, Private, Ernest William SMITH
Aged 21

1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Tuesday, 23rd February 1915

An Old Contemptible

Ernest William Smith was born in 1894 in Holy Trinity, Bristol , son of Thomas and Emily Jane SMITH (née KANE).

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at 61 Old Bread Street, Bristol with his father Thomas SMITH [47] labourer born Wycombe, Bucks; his mother Emily [38] born Bristol; sisters Emily [16] born Portland, Dorset, Maud [12] and Grace [6] both born Bristol; brothers Thomas [11], and Edgar [3] both born Bristol,

1911 census...Not been identified in this census but he may well be in the Army. His parents, with sister Grace and brother Edgar, were boarding at 59 Elmdale Road, Bedminster, Bristol with the family of Sidney and Maud SMITH (apparently no relationship). They were later at 4 Phoenix Street, Barton Hill, Bristol.

In 1801 the Gloucestershire Regiment (the 28th Regiment of Foot) faced the French at the Battle of Alexandria, where on 21st March 1801 they occupied an area of sand dunes facing the coast, in advance of a key British defence position. The French attacked and the 28th Foot took the full brunt. They were surrounded but fought with great skill front and rear and defeated the French. Their gallant actions won them the honour of wearing the Egyptian Sphinx on their cap badge and wearing a badge front and rear.

Ernest enlisted in Bristol. No service record found, just the pension card which gives his death as due to nephritis. The card had been passed to the south western region, perhaps indicating his family were still in the Bristol area. With the clasp to his 1914 star he more than likely was a regular solider, or at the very least a reservist.

Ernest Smith is buried in Ingham (St Bartholomew) Churchyard, grave A:1

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