SMITH, Joseph

No.47783, Private, Joseph SMITH
Aged 19

6th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 22nd March 1918

Joseph Smith was born in Stoke by Clare on 23rd July 1898,(Risbridge Q3-1898 4A:785), baptised in St John the Baptist, Stoke by Clare on 26th November 1899, son of William and Eliza SMITH (née JAY) of the Maltings.

He was admitted to Stoke by Clare National/Voluntary School in June 1903.

1901 census...Aged 2, he was at The Maltings, Stoke by Clare with his father William SMITH [37] horse keeper born Wixoe; his mother Eliza [36]; brother Frank [13] farm labourer; sisters Emily [10] and Florie [8]. All except his father were born in Stoke by Clare.

1911 census...Aged 12, he was at the Maltings still, with his parents; brothers Frank (stockman) and Edward [8]; sisters Emily and Daisy [2]. The new siblings also born in Stoke by Clare.

CWGC records have his mother at Stonard's Farm, Stoke by Clare.

He enlisted in Sudbury.

War Diary:-
5:30 am 22nd March 1918, in the line SE of JUSSY - A position on railway embankment about 66c.M.22.d. in Bde Reserve. The 7th Bedford were on right and the R Fusiliers on the left. Bridge at La MONTAGNE was to be blown up but this was only partially successful. The Bn was to hold itself in readiness to counter attack in case the enemy crossed the canal. Enemy aircraft were very active during the afternoon and a heavy bombardment was made against our position and the enemy made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the canal but was repulsed. The line was consolidated our sector extending from the bridge over the canal at 66c.M.23.a.8.9. to 200 yds SE of MONTAGNE BRIDGE

Casualties not recorded but CWGC records give 26 killed only 2 having known graves. It was the 2nd day of the German Spring Offensive (The Kaiserschlacht) when the Germans made considerable advances to the west.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Joseph Smith is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, panels 54 to 56

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

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