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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1 / Northumberland Fusiliers 22 May 1918


aengland

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I am researching aspects of the life, and death, of one Private George Norman Smith who died on 22 May 1918, whilst serving with the 1 / Northumberland Fusiliers. He is buried in Sandpits British Cemetery, Fouquereuil, France. I believe that he was killed, according to the relevant page in the regimental history ('The Fifth in the Great War') when his unit 'lost 9 men from the burst of a single shell'. I am not assuming that he was one of the 9, but perhaps it is a good place to start.

I can, however, only find two from the 1 / Northumberland Fusiliers that are buried in Sandpits British Cemetery... Pte 37060 George Norman Smith and Private 55893 John Doran... if I had access to my copy of Soldiers Died in the Great War (which currently I do not have) then I could quickly sort this problem myself.... but unfortunately I don't have access to it, and am therefore hoping that someone could help me solve the puzzle as to who the remaining 7 are. Armed with that information I can then locate their burial place, or place of commemoration using the CWGC site

Could anyone kindly help me with my query, or give me any further information regarding the incident? If you can then I would be very grateful

Thank you in advance

Andrew

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Name Rank Service Number Date of Death Age Regiment / Service Service Country Grave /

Memorial Reference Cemetery / Memorial Name Docs. SMITH, GEORGE NORMAN Private 37060 22/05/1918 20 Northumberland Fusiliers United Kingdom I. K. 9. SANDPITS BRITISH CEMETERY, FOUQUEREUIL document-icon.gifDORAN, JOHN Private 55893 22/05/1918 Northumberland Fusiliers United Kingdom I. K. 10. SANDPITS BRITISH CEMETERY, FOUQUEREUIL document-icon.gifBAKER, CHRISTOPHER Private 203997 22/05/1918 31 Northumberland Fusiliers United Kingdom Panel 20 to 22. LOOS MEMORIAL document-icon.gifLANE, H Private 47258 22/05/1918 Northumberland Fusiliers United Kingdom II. C. 4. GODEWAERSVELDE BRITISH CEMETERY document-icon.gifRAINE, FREDERICK MARTIN Private 69186 22/05/1918 18 Northumberland Fusiliers United Kingdom 93. 9191. HULL WESTERN CEMETERY

No idea where my CD is to look sorry, above is CWGC for the regiment that day

maybe "lost" wasnt killed

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Raine was 1/6th Bn - evacuated back to the U.K.. The other seven within the nine mentioned may have actually been 'wounded' the word 'lost' not necessarily meaning 'killed'. Doran was serving with IX Platoon, 'Y' Company when he was killed, so I'm presuming they were all from the same Platoon/Company.

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Agree, to say they "lost" 9 men does mean lost to the unit but not necessarily killed. I think had they all been killed it would've said that as an entry. I've seen sucn terms used as in unit lost 8 men, then 4 killed & 4 wounded to be more specific.

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My grateful thanks to Coldstreamer, Graham, and Loader.... really appreciate all the help you have given. I clearly got hung up on the word 'lost' and as you have kindly pointed out, that does not mean that they all died.

Any further help (if there is anything left to help me with!) would be gratefully received

Andrew

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, George Norman Smith of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers is my 2nd Great Uncle. His father John Smith Married my 2x Great Grandmother Sophia Whiting in 1891, My Great Grand Father Frederick Whiting was born in 1880. My Grandfather Norman Whiting and his brother George Whiting (twins) were born in 1924 and named after George Norman Smith. George was born in March 1898, in Heacham Norfolk. He was private and his number was 37060, he is buried at Sandpits. The UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929 for George Norman Smith show that 4 pounds and 9 shillings and 5 dimes were given to his sole living legacy his mother Sophia on the 10-09-18.

 

George Norman Smith also has a plaque in the grounds of  the old graveyard at St Marys Church, Heacham. it reads:

In Loving Memory of 
GEORGE NORMAN SMITH 
died in action in France 
Aged 20 years May 22nd 1918 
Deeply Mourned 
Intered at Labunere 
Near Bethune 

 

After reading the war diaries of the date that George died, it was apparent that there was only two fatalities in his unit that day (although 9 in total) and I am led to believe the other would have been John Doran. Who is also buried at Sandpits. According to the war diaries they were positioned on the Canal Bank between Choques and Bethune approx 2km from the German Front Line.

 

Kind Regards

 

Scott Taylor

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On 7/1/2016 at 13:16, scotttaylor said:

Hi, George Norman Smith of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers is my 2nd Great Uncle. His father John Smith Married my 2x Great Grandmother Sophia Whiting in 1891, My Great Grand Father Frederick Whiting was born in 1880. My Grandfather Norman Whiting and his brother George Whiting (twins) were born in 1924 and named after George Norman Smith. George was born in March 1898, in Heacham Norfolk. He was private and his number was 37060, he is buried at Sandpits. The UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929 for George Norman Smith show that 4 pounds and 9 shillings and 5 dimes were given to his sole living legacy his mother Sophia on the 10-09-18.

 

George Norman Smith also has a plaque in the grounds of  the old graveyard at St Marys Church, Heacham. it reads:

In Loving Memory of 
GEORGE NORMAN SMITH 
died in action in France 
Aged 20 years May 22nd 1918 
Deeply Mourned 
Intered at Labunere 
Near Bethune 

 

After reading the war diaries of the date that George died, it was apparent that there was only two fatalities in his unit that day (although 9 in total) and I am led to believe the other would have been John Doran. Who is also buried at Sandpits. According to the war diaries they were positioned on the Canal Bank between Choques and Bethune approx 2km from the German Front Line.

 

Kind Regards

 

Scott Taylor

Although killed with the 1st Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers, 37060 Pte George Norman Smith initially served overseas with the 16th Bn, N.F. and was the posted to the 12/13th Bn and later the 1st Bn, with whom he was killed. These postings possibly indicate he was either sick or wounded at some time requiring treatment out of the line and on recovery posted. However - todate I have found no references in any of the casualty returns to prove this.

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  • 7 months later...
On 02/07/2016 at 20:31, Graham Stewart said:

Although killed with the 1st Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers, 37060 Pte George Norman Smith initially served overseas with the 16th Bn, N.F. and was the posted to the 12/13th Bn and later the 1st Bn, with whom he was killed. These postings possibly indicate he was either sick or wounded at some time requiring treatment out of the line and on recovery posted. However - todate I have found no references in any of the casualty returns to prove this.

Thanks for that Graham Stewart, based on that i have been digging a little further and have found a newspaper report That is reporting his death in his mothers local paper, it states that he signed up in February 1916 (He turned 18 in the March), It says he saw service in France 1916/17 and was sent home on sick leave around Christmas 1917 and hospitalised with trench fever. He was home for about 2 months before returning and being killed in May of 1918.

 

As we are coming up to the 100th anniversary of his death, i am planning on retracing his steps in the weeks preceding his death and visiting his grave in both the UK and France. If anyone has any further information that could help, that would be great, also if anyone knows any details of John Doran, who i believe died with George on May 22nd, that would be great, as i would like to pay my respects, whilst over there, i do know he enlisted in Bristol and was born in county kildare, ireland.

 

News Article of Georges Death

newspaper gn smith.jpg

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Something is wrong with that report (or omitted from it).


His war gratuity was was £5 net, £7 gross. This was paid for only 16 months qualifying service. If he had joined up Feb 16 and stayed in the army until May 18 he would have had 28 months service, £13 gross. We're short of 12 months service so i's possible the article is out by a year on the enlistment.

 

It's also possible he applied for and was granted an exemption for some period or was released for a period to civilian work. Other options to that would reduce the war gratuity included being in military prison, having deserted or having been left on the army reserve for a period before being called up.

 

Craig

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