SMITH, Edward

No.7241, Private, Edward SMITH
Aged 28

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on 12th October 1916

Edward Smith was born in Chedburgh in 1888 (2nd qtr 1888 Thingoe 4a:713) son of Caroline SMITH.. There is confusion here as the eldest child in the 1891 census, Frederick [14] has registered a mother with maiden name of ARBON and the last one, Minnie [5 months], also has a mother with maiden name ARBON, but none of the other children are registered with a mother's maiden name. Caroline ARBON appears to have married Sydney SMITH in 1871 and Charles NEWMAN in 1904

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at Rookery Cottages, Bury Road, Chedburgh with his mother Caroline SMITH [43] (m); brothers Fred [14], twins Charles and William [7] and Walter [1]; sisters Ann [5] and Minnie [5 months]. All were born in Chedburgh. Also there was a lodger, Charles NEWMAN [35] farm labourer born Depden. Sydney SMITH was a lodger in Dronfield, Derbyshire where he had been living for 10 years

1901 census...Aged 13, he was still at Rookery Cottage, a butcher's helper, with his mother; twin brothers Williamm and Charles (farm labourers), Walter and Robert [8]; sisters Annie and Minnie. no lodger. Sydney SMITH was a furnace stoker, still lodging in Dronfield

Sydney SMITH seemingly died between 1901 and 1904, thereby enabling Caroline to re marry. This death registration however has not been found.

1911 census...Aged 23, he was a Private in the Suffolk Regiment at Mustapha Pasha Barracks, Alexandria, Egypt. His mother, now Mrs Newman, was with her new husband Charles NEWMAN at Rookery Yard, Chedburgh with twins William and Charles, Annie and John and a grandson Fred William SMITH [4 months}, parentage unknown] Rookery Yard, Chedburgh

On the pension card his mother was still in Chedburgh

His brother Robert died in 1918 see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.
The 7th Suffolk were in the front line, prepared to attack BAYONET TRENCH and LUISENHOFF FARM, it was a quiet morning and by 5am the battalion was lying in shell holes in front, ready. Major Henty went to forward HQ in GRASS STREET to get reports at 10 am.
At 2 pm the attack started, the German barrage was very intense. The battalion advanced in four waves, each company with a platoon front. No definite report was made until 6 pm when the battalion was back in front line, having failed to reach its objective. 'B' and 'D' Coys had reached their objective but were driven back by superior numbers. 1st Essex on the right gained their objective but were unable to hold it, finally they managed keep a part of it. The Battalion withdrew to Reserve in FLERS TRENCH.

Lt Col Murphy, in his "History of the Suffolk Regiment" records that over 500 men became casualties, due in part to uncut wire and to an ineffective barrage. One officer had been buried twice before zero hour and all the officers that went over the top were casualties. CWGC puts the dead at 104.

Edward Smith is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme pier/face 1C/2A

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