Unknown Smith KIA WW1 found or is he?

Discussion in 'British Army' started by WelchRegLost, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    As posted in my Introduction post I started my journey looking for an unknown Smith who killed in action during WW1. The only information I had was from my uncle’s memory that this person died in Belgium 1917 and was probably a machine gunner and that he came from Wolverhampton. Additionally I knew he had a brother Thomas (my grandfather) who married Mary Davies / Davis (can it get any easier?).

    Going through my father’s papers I had a piece of luck in finding a copy of Thomas’ birth certificate which gave his parents as James Smith and Sarah Hayward (Haywood?) which lead to their marriage at St John’s Church Wolverhampton 29th May 1892.

    So my “Mr N. K. Smith” was most likely born between 1882 and 1898, a search of freebmd crashed their servers with too many returns for Smith born in Wolverhampton between those dates. So followed a number or years visiting Wolverhampton Archives and trawling through the baptismal records for all the Churches in Wolverhampton, as well as looking at the 1891, 1901 (oh how I wish the 1911 census was available then!)

    1891 census Class: RG 12; Piece: 2233; Folio: 108; Page: 13.
    upload_2018-1-6_11-33-36.png

    1901 census Class: RG13; Piece: 2688; Folio: 183; Page: 33.
    upload_2018-1-6_11-34-30.png

    So in 1901 where are John, David G. and Joseph J. Also where was the father James? And where was son James in 1891? Are Joseph J and James one and the same?

    During one of my many visits to the archives they had an exhibition by the Western Front Association who agreed to have a quick look for me and came back a couple of weeks later with the following

    I have searched "Soldiers Died in the Gt War" CD for Machine Gun Corps / Wolverhampton / Smith and have only one result:

    Cpl James Smith, 7416, Machine Gun Corps, killed in action 26th October 1917.

    Born & enlisted Wolverhampton. Formerly 18789 South Staffs Regiment.”

    Great I have James Smith in my family that has to be him. With great excitement I phoned my uncle to tell him the great news, his reply “it can’t be James as uncle Jim was at your parents wedding in 1964”. Now that was like a dagger through my genealogical heart!

    It took a little while to get over that and start the search again by which time the 1911 census was out

    RG14PN17064 RG78PN1052 RD369 SD5 ED12 SN23

    So James and Sarah had 13 children of which 4 were living in 1911

    Thomas, James, Edward and Dora, Thomas survived the war, Dora would not be a Machine Gunner and also survive the war so that leaves James and Edward.

    Using the new GRO online index search there is no Edward Smith born in Wolverhampton whose mother surname is Hayward or Haywood between 1900 and 1902 but there is a John Edward Smith born in 1901. A phone call to my uncle to ask who John Edward is or if he remembers anything about him, “oh yes Uncle Ted moved to Lowestoft and had a daughter Ann, me: and was he at my parents wedding? My uncle: oh yes I already told you that, me: no you said Uncle Jim, my uncle: yes that is right everyone called Ted Jim”.

    So does that mean my Granduncle who was killed in WW1 was called James and if so is he the Corporal James Smith 7416 of the Machine Gun Corps?

    Now to go and lie down in a dark room as my head hurts after writing that, hope it makes sense to you all.
     

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  2. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    I've found him and it doesn't give much information at all. Though it does say
    under Supplementary Notes the he was 'formerly 18789, S. Staffs Regt.'
    Maybe you could contact the South Staffordshire Regiment at the link below. They may be able to help.

    Code:
    http://www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.com/research.html
     
  3. Sandiep

    Sandiep Successfully Supports Searches!

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    I think I will join you:confused:
     
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  4. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    I would but have to do & be & other stuff.
    gotta love some of the older folk who dropped these little gems.

     
  5. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    With a very large pillow between you I hope.
     
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  6. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Sis I have sent them an email and await a response
     
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  7. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    Right now I wish I was able to get some more of those gems from him
     
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  8. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Do let us know the reply please.:)
     
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  9. Jellylegs

    Jellylegs Well-Known Member

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    Ancestry has a UK army register of soldiers effects 1901 - 1929.

    The chap whose number was 7416 is listed - no other information to help confirm he is yours, that I can see. His father is listed as James Smith though.
     
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  10. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Jellylegs, that is new information about his father, don't have Ancestry since i told them where to put their site after several arguments with them.
     
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  11. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    :D
     
  12. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    I am reminded of people complaining to their local councils for what-ever reason, when I see people having verbals with Ancestry. Jan perhaps would suggest knitting fog, others know that such a huge company has many minions- good grief- is that what they are???? sorry- dogsbodies, cadets, etc. is what I mean, to handle the ever increasing flow of discontent.
    Water off a ducks back eh? So many resons to feel put out & not a lot to make one happy.
    Similar is happening on the British version with their new packaging. Is it to make things more easily accessible tothe masses or to make more millions for the campany.? Tough out there with so many vying for the title of 'we've got the best for you'.

    If anyone works it out please give me a nudge as I do miss the 1939 & occasional newspaper item which one day may surface where I need one.
     
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  13. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    Argument was with their legal team
     
  14. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    Spent an hour with one of the researchers at Wolverhampton Archives to try to find some link between My James Smith and Acting Corporal James Smith of the Machine Gun Corps, and found a big fat zero :(
     
  15. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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  16. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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  17. Jellylegs

    Jellylegs Well-Known Member

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  18. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    There is also a
    SMITH, EDWARD JOHN x HAYWARD
    GRO Reference: 1901 S Quarter in WOLVERHAMPTON Volume 06B Page 659
     
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  19. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting as when I looked a few months ago it came up with John Edward a mother Hayward and the same Volume and page number
     
  20. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Can't find that now, only the above tried without child's name also, & this one.
    SMITH John Edward Wolverhampton 6b-630
    SMITH, JOHN EDWARD x DANGERFIELD
    GRO Reference: 1901 D Quarter in WOLVERHAMPTON Volume 06B Page 630
     

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