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Guest Pete Wood

Pte James SMITH, 4 RF,

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Guest Pete Wood

This chap's 'common' name is often difficult to research. I look forward to the day, when we can look for him by Regiment (as well as year of death) on the CWGC.

Our man in number 171 of the 305 UK army soldiers who died in 1915 with the name/initial "J Smith". If anyone knows an easier way to search the CWGC, and cut down the possibilities, please let me know:


Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Unit Text: 4th Bn.

Age: 19

Date of Death: 02/03/1915

Service No: SR/2454

Additional information: Son of Eliza Smith, of Swallow St., Iver, Uxbridge, Bucks.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 6 and 8


SDGW states:

Born Ivor (sic), Bucks

Enlisted Hounslow

Resided Ivor (sic)

Killed in action

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I have just spent half an hour looking up said JAMES SMITH and then writting an e-mail to the forum about him.Then I pressed the wrong button and lost the lot.Here goes again.

Firstly I can confirm that Peters in formation is correct.I had thought that I was first with this today,but Peter pipped me to the post.Might I suggest,mostly to new PALS,that here every day,is a perfect learning situation.Look at the "remembering today"at the top of the page.Now try ,using CWGC to duplicate the results.DONT CHEET BY LOOKING FIRST AT THE ANSWER.If you have got SDIGW it would also be a help,but not absolutly nessesary.NOW check your answer.Have you got it right?if not try again.If it is still wrong say so on the forum,BECAUSE YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT AND EVERYBODY ELSE WRONG.IN this way we will all,collectifelly,move forward.



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Sue Light

Nothing specific here, but the extract from 'Royal Fusiliers in the Great War' shows what a miserable time the battalion were having at the time of Pte. Smith's death:

'Early in January of 1915 Lieut.-Colonel Campbell took over the command of the 4th Battalion, who suffered much both from the inclemency of the weather and from avoidable hardships. The trenches were almost intolerable through mud and water; and in the rest area near Ouderdom, early in March, owing to the huts not being rainproof, the camp became a sea of mud and afforded little or no rest to its victims. They also suffered from enemy snipers, the battalion losing no less than 58 men within forty-eight hours from hostile rifle fire on February 23rd. They had, however, the distinction of being thanked in person by General Sir H. Smith-Dorrien on March 8th for saving the situation at Ypres.

Previous to this their brigade [the 9th] had been transferred to the 28th Division to replace the 85th Brigade, a considerable number of whom went sick after scarcely ten days in the firing line. Of these the 3rd Royal Fusiliers had been not a little affected by the vagaries of climate, having only arrived from India in December. They lost temporarily about 25 per cent of their strength owing to acute bronchial and laryngeal catarrh on their arrival at Havre, and large numbers had to be evacuated to hospital with trench feet during February.'


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