Born: 1876, Norton Canes, Brownhills, Staffordshire.

Died: 16th June 1917; Age: 41; of Nephrotic. Served 19 years & 344 days.

Residence: 46, Parliament Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies, Ipswich.

First Enlistment: Location: Hednesford, Staffordshire; Date: 25th August 1896 – joined 29th August 1896 – Seaforth, Lancashire; Age: 20 years & 5 months; Occupation: Miner; Religion: CofE. Next of Kin: Father – William John Smith, of 18, Chapel Street, Hazel Slade, Hednesford, Staffordshire. Height: 5ft 11 1/4ins, fair complexion, brown eyes & light brown hair.


Re-enlistment: 25th August 1912 – for 4 years – R.F.A., 50th Brigade, ‘D’ Battery.


Date of Entry Therein: 10th May 1915 – France.



Home: 25th August 1896 – 22nd February 1899

India: 23rd February 1899 – 12th August 1900

China: 13th August 1900 – 11th November 1901

India: 12th November 1901 – 16th December 1902

Home: 17th December 1902 – 9th May 1915

France: 10th May 1915 – 2nd April 1916

Home: 3rd April 1916 – 2nd August 1916.

Confirmed in rank – Sergeant – 10th April 1916.


Discharged – No longer physically fit for war service –  2nd August 1916 – 46, Parliament  Road, Ipswich.


Medical Board: 17th July 1916, originated 8 years ago at Ipswich. Swelling of limbs & face, general health poor, short of breath. Disability not caused by, not aggravated by service. Permanent not likely to improve.


Rank: Sergeant; Service Number: 16245;

Regiment: Royal Artillery.

Formerly 2nd Volunteer Battalion, South Stafford Regiment & 50th Brigade, ‘D’ Battery, R.F.A.


Medals Awarded: China 1900 without clasp, Victory, British War & 1915 Star = Silver War Badge.


Grave Reference:

BA. I .67.IMG_6717

Ipswich Old Cemetery,





1891   20, Cross Street, Hazel Slade, Rugeley, Staffordshire.


William was 14 years old, a Horse Groom. He was living with his parents & siblings.

William John Smith, 37, a Stationary Engine Driver, born Brownhills, Staffordshire.

Elizabeth Smith (nee Mansell), 31, born Bloxwich, Staffordshire.

Samuel Smith, 8, born Norton Canes.

Elizabeth A. Smith, 8, born Norton Canes.

Robert H. Smith, 5, born Norton Canes.

Charlotte E. Smith, 3, Norton Canes.


1911   46, Parliament Road, Ipswich.


William was 34, a Foundry Labourer – Engineering Works. He was married and Head of the Household.

Sarah, 28.

John, 5.

Florence, 7 months.


On the 22nd January 1905, at St. John the Baptist, Ipswich, William married Sarah Anna Woods, born 1883, Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Sarah and William had three children:

John Walter Smith, born October 1905, Ipswich.

William John Smith, born February 1907, Ipswich – died 1907, Ipswich.

Florence Alice Smith, born August 1910, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Sarah A. Smith – widow.


Evening Star – Thursday, 21st June 1917 – IPSWICH ARTILLERYMAN’S FUNERALThe funeral took place with military honours, on Wednesday, 20th June in the afternoon, of ex-Sergeant William Charles Smith, who died on the 16th June at his home, in Parliament Road, Ipswich, from injuries received in France, at the age of 41. The sergeant had been several years in the Army Reserve when war broke out and was sent out to France in the Royal Field Artillery on the 5th August 1914, and took part in the First Battle of Ypres. In February, 1916, a shell hit his gun, killing the whole crew with the exception of Sergeant Smith who was buried up to his neck, and not extricated until several hours later. In view of the severity of the internal injuries it is surprising that the sergeant made progress in recovery; he did make a partial recovery, and on getting his discharge commenced light work at Messrs. Ransomes, Sims, and Jefferies. He was, however, never free from pain and illness, and his death could not be said to have been unexpected.

The coffin was borne to the Field of Honour, where it was interred, on a gun-carriage supplied by the Royal Field Artillery, being followed by the widow, the deceased’s son and daughter, Mrs. Woods (mother-in-law), Mrs. Hall (sister-in-law), Mrs. Cherry (sister-in-law), Mr. Mann (brother-in-law), Mrs. Archer (sister-in-law), and Mr. Cherry. The burial service was read by the Reverend H. B. Richardson, of St. John the Baptist Church, military honours being accorded by buglers and a firing party from the Royal Field Artillery. There were several beautiful floral tributes, including one sent by sympathetic neighbours.

Edward S. Singleton, Ltd carried out the funeral arrangements.


William is also remembered on St. John the Baptist church memorial, Ipswich.


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