SMITH, James David

No.12114, Private, James David SMITH
Aged 22

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action presumed on Friday, 30th November 1917

James David Smith was born in 1895( Mildenhall Q3-1895 4A:811), son of Joseph Pitches and Emma SMITH (née RUMBELOW).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was in Main Street, West Row with his mother Emma SMITH [27] and brother George F [4], all born in Mildenhall. The census form is annotated that the head of the family was absent, a soldier.

1911 census...Aged 15, a farm labourer, he was in West Row with his father Joseph SMITH [45] a gamekeeper; his mother Emma; brothers George [14], Victor[9], Sydney [7] and Charlie [2] and sister Elsie [4]. All now recorded as born in West Row.

Enlisted in Newmarket.
From Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk regiment :- On November 29th, the battalion, badly in need of rest after fighting along the Scheldt canal at Lateau Wood, were sent back to Brigade reserve. They moved into a sunken road barely half a mile from the front line near Cheshire Quarry.It was intended as a temporary position and possessed no trench system. Early in the morning of the 30th the Germans opened a very active barrage and before the battalion had time to stand to, enormous masses of German troops swarmed round their flanks,attacking from all sides. Hostile aircraft wheeled overhead dropping bombs and firing machine guns. The position was lost, but not without a considerable fight and losses on both sides. Battalion casualties were put at 13 Officers and 219 other ranks missing.

CWGC have 33 of the 7th Battalion killed, and not one has a known grave.

James Smith is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, panel 4

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