SMITH, Arthur

No.59016, Gunner, Arthur SMITH
Aged 21

17th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died of his Wounds on Monday, 21st August 1916

Arthur Smith was born in Helions Bumpstead (Risbridge Q2-1891 4A:723) son of William and Matilda SMITH (née DYSON).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at The Parsonage, Helions Bumpstead with his father William SMITH [46] horse-keeper; his mother Matilda [44]; brothers Charles R [16] (horseman), George [15] farm labourer, and Stanley [3]. All were born in Helions Bumpstead.

1911 census...Aged 19, farm labourer, he was at Parsonage Yard, Helions Bumpstead with his parents and brother Stanley.

His references on joining the Army were from ? MILLS, ? Merchants of Dunmow, Essex. His family were still in Parsonage Yard after his death.

His brother Charles was killed serving in France in the Essex Regiment in 1917. see here

He attested in Braintree on 27th September 1915 and was mobilised into the R.G.A. on 2nd October 1915 at Great Yarmouth and died in No 38 Field Ambulance in France.
He was 24 years 158 days old, a carman, born Helions Bumpstead, living at Park Lodge, Dunmow,Essex. 5 feet 8 inches (172.7 cm)tall, weighing 138 lbs (62.8 kg), chest 32" to 35.5" (81.3 to 90.2 cm)
Most of his records are badly damaged but it appears he went to the BEF on 16th January 1916 and joined 26 Heavy Battery, was on leave at home from 10th to 20th December 1916, and was in No 3 Canadian General Hospital on 7th May 1918 released to No 5 Rest Camp on 18th and R.G.A. Base Depot on 25th May 1918.
He was at 8th Corps Rest Camp on 20th August, rejoining his unit on 26th August. Whether these spells in Hospital/Rest Camp were as a result of wounds or illness is not known, the relevant pages are too badly damaged. His belongings, forwarded to his father at Parsonage Yard, Helions Bumpstead, were photos, wallet and dictionary.

Where his battery were when he was wounded in unknown but at that stage of the war the Allies were chasing the Germans back to the east and Garrison Artillery were not front line units, casualties usually coming from counter barrage.

Two "Heavies", just arrived or just ready to move off ?

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Arthur Smith is buried in Villers-Pol Communal Cemetery Extension, grave K:9
Initially he was buried in 2:A:4 Lecelles Churchyard but moved 20 miles SE to Villers-Pol in 1951.

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

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