SMITH, Percival George

No.320907, Corporal, Percival George SMITH
Aged 24

12th (Yeomanry)Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
formerly 8744, Norfolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Monday, 19th August 1918

Born on 27th August 1894 in Aldershot (3rd qtr Farnham 2a:124) son of Alma and Maria SMITH (née FISHER)

1901 census...Aged 6, he was at 46 Eastgate Street, Bury St.Edmunds with his widowed mother Maria SMITH [31] shopkeeper born Great Barton; sisters Edith [27-5-1896] and Ada [23-3-1898] both born Aldershot; brother Frederick [9 months] born Bury St.Edmunds; aunt Mary FISHER [40] born Great Barton.
His father Alma FISHER ( born Badwell Ash) was a soldier in the Royal Engineers who died from enteric fever 24th January 1900 in South Africa

1911 census...Aged 16, a farm labourer, he was still at 46 Eastgate Street with his mother; brothers Frederick, William [6] and Reggie [4]; sisters Ada and Dorothy [1];boarder Charles PAWSEY [49], widower, milkman born Great barton

When Frederick enlisted he gave his mother's name as Maria Pawsey Smith. She is Mrs Pawsey on Percy's pension card.

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.

The War Diary has:-
In conjunction with87 Brigade on our left, the Bn was detailed to attack enemy positions/strongpoints, then advance to final objectives 36a.F.13.c.9.9. to LABIS FARM thence following the Vieux Berquin road to COURRIER COTTAGE. The artillery programme was as follows: Barrage to start at Zero hour and continue (with a dwell of 6 minutes half way through) with following lifts -100 yds- every three minutes until reaching final objectives and then be put down 250 yds in front of them. Contact [ ] aeroplane and TMB collaborated.
A,B and C Coys were to attack, with C Coy 12 RSF holding the line with our D Coy who were to consolidate a new line taking in the enemy posts at E.18.d.05.75.
The Bn formed up in the assembly positions which were 50 yards behind the line of posts conforming to the line by 4 pm. The forming up was accomplished without being seen by the enemy. Punctually at 5 pm the barrage opened and the line moved forward, keeping well up with the barrage. When nearing the first line heavy MG and rifle fire was opened by the enemy, causing many casualties among the officers and NCOs.
This caused the right flank to be held up, also the left was held up by machine guns and snipers. The two left platoons (A Coy) had closed in too much to the left, thus leaving some of the enemy strong-points at E.18.d.05.79 untouched. OC D Coy seeing this immediately pushed forward his right hand platoons and engaged the enemy. He the brought up the remainder of D Coy and formed a line with A Coy right, pushed forward, taking enemy strong-points at E.18.a.9.8 (A) and strong-points in trenches at E.18.a.1.1.(B).
The enemy fell back, fighting all the way, to shell holes. A small party of B Coy then pushed forward to within a short distance of the final objective, overcoming considerable resistance on the part of the enemy bombers and snipers who were hidden in shell holes. This party seeing that the flanks were held up sent back for reinforcements. These came up causing the enemy to retire and thus enabling the flanks to move forward to final objectives, overcoming on the way considerable resistance from numerous enemy bombers hidden in the corn.
The whole line, now in touch, took the final objectives, causing many casualties to the retiring enemy. The positions gained were then consolidated and listening posts were immediately pushed forward. A carrying party was formed by D Coy did good work in getting tools, ammunition, grenades etc during the action and after the objectives had been gained.
The enmey put down a heavy barrage in front of our new line but apparently were not sure where we had established ourselves.
Prisoners taken 60. MG captured 12.... Casualties - Killed 8 officers 38m OR - Wounded 1 officer 100 OR. Over 100 enemy dead counted on the field.

photo C.W.G.C.

Percival Smith is buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, France 2:B:22

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