SNELL [SMITH], Harry Prentice

No.260036, Private, Harry SNELL
Aged 18

1st/5th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
formerly 240722, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on 16th August 1917

Harry Prentice SMITH was born in Ipswich (2nd qtr 1899 Ipswich 4a:996) son of Charles H and Alice SMITH (née STAFF). Sometime along the way Charles H Smith changed the family name to SNELL. Charles himself was the son of John SNELL and Eliza Ann SMITH and in that generation there were also some using SNELL and others SMITH. He married Alice STAFF as Charles H SMITH in 1896 but by the 1901 census they were SNELL. Despite that, Harry was registered as SMITH.

1901 census...Aged 1, Harry SNELL was at 12 Hill Street, Ipswich with his father Charles SNELL [24] stoker stationary engine born Lavenham; his mother Alice [26] born Ipswich

1911 census...Aged 11, he was at Barrow with his parents (father now factory manager); brothers Frederick [9] born Ipswich and Donald Edwin [1] born Cambridge; sisters Ivy Grace [6] born Ipswich, and Ruby Alice Mary [1 month] born Barrow; aunt Mary Ann BLOOMFIELD [47] born Ipswich.

His brother Charles Victor Snell was killed in Belgium in October 1917 see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds

The battalion were at St Julien. War Diary has :-
"16th St Julien..."At zero hour 4:45 am the attack commenced with a barrage. The first objective, namely BORDER HOUSE and gun pits on S and N side of Stb JULIEN - WINNIPEG RROAD was soon gained. Machine guns in JAMET FARM and in positions in rear prevented any further advance. A hpouse containing a machine gun in 28.C.12.c.35.65. was still held by the enemy, this was disarmed with rifle grenades and a Lewis Gun and was occupied. By this time the barraage had left us behind and many casualties were caused.
The Bn herefore dug in in its present position. A weak counter attack was stopped with RG and rifle fire. During the day enemy snipers were very active and caused us some casualties."

CWGC records show 67 of the battalion killed on 16th, only 9 have a known grave.

photo CWGC

Harry Snell is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, panels 72 to75

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