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Yorke Smith, 24th Royal Fusiliers (Barrow-in-Furness)


M.A.Stewart
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Hello,

I'm researching the life of 2261 Private Yorke Smith, 24th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, who lost his life on the Somme on 13 November 1916, aged twenty-eight, and whose name is now inscribed on the Thiepval Memorial.

He was a teacher before the war and taught for a couple of years at my old school - Borden Grammar School in Sittingbourne, Kent - before transferring to a teaching post at Barrow-in-Furness Grammar School. He was teaching here at the time of his enlistment into the 24th Royal Fusiliers, and I'm keen to know if an obituary appeared in the local newspaper in Barrow-in-Furness.

Has anyone undertaken a search of contemporary newspapers in Barrow-in-Furness for WW1 obituaries? Otherwise, does anyone know the name(s) of the local newspaper(s) and where they might be held today?

I've found information about him from the school and university he himself attended, but his time at Barrow-in-Furness - and, indeed, his military service with 24th Royal Fusiliers - is something of a blank.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Best wishes,
Marc
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He is on a couple of Rolls of Honour shown on FMP.

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I would say there is a very good chance of there being an obituary and possibly even a photo in the Barrow News or Barrow Guardian (and probably both). They were still reporting the deaths and woundings of local men at this time. Unfortunately, when I did my trawl through the papers up in a Barrow a few years ago, I only photographed stories relevant to 1/4th King's Own. I'm not aware of either paper being available electronically. The Archive Centre is in the main library and although it's a long way from Sittingbourne, it could be worth combining with a trip to the Lakes?

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Hi Marc,

His British War and Victory medals roll entry shows that he arrived in theatre (France/Flanders) on the 15th November 1915. He appears to be on the 14/15 Star roll, but under the name of "SMITH T", which might explain why the Star isn't noted on his medal card. The Star roll has him as "death presumed 13.11.16", and his Soldiers' Effects record as "13.11.16 on or since death presumed". Using Craigs Calculator the amount of War Gratuity paid following his death indicates that he enlisted circa November 1914.

There is a Red Cross index/enquiry card which indicates that he went missing on 13.11.16 at Beaumont Hamel, and that he was part of the signals section (info. presumably submitted by the family, to the best of their knowledge).

Regards

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

A very belated thanks for your help with Yorke Smith, it's much appreciated.

In particular, thanks for ascertaining that he was indeed entitled to the 1914-15 Star: I would've automatically assumed that his medal entitlement was correctly listed on his MIC. I'll have to check the medal rolls for all of the other casualties I'm researching, just in case they were similarly entitled to the 1914 or 1914-15 Stars but didn't have this recorded on their MICs.

Thanks, too, for locating his Red Cross enquiry card, this is a research avenue I hadn't considered before for those casualties that were "missing in action".

Yours,

Marc

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  • 4 months later...

The only point I can add to this is that he probably enlisted sometime around the 20th of December, 1914 on the basis that SPTS/2256 enlisted December 18th and SPTS/2272 December 21st. By that point in the battalion's formation the service numbers were being issued in chronological order of official enlistment (whereas early SPTS numbers up to 1000 or so were being issued in chronological order of informal enlistment and those recruits had to repeat the attestation process with army recruitment forms and more rigorous medical exams later on).

That said, there are some service number / enlistment date anomalies here and there that can throw the sequence out of whack, which is why I say "probably".

 

On 5/1/2016 at 04:03, M.A.Stewart said:

I'm researching the life of 2261 Private Yorke Smith, 24th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers

 

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Hi Mark 

The 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers also known as the 2nd Sportsmen were involved in action on the Redan Ridge also known as the Battle of the Ancre on the 13th November this was the last throw of the dice of the battle of the Somme. My Great Uncle was also with the 24th Battalion and he was wounded that day.If you need a copy of the battalion war diary for that period contact me on the PM on this site with your address and I will send it to you.

Kind regards Andy.

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Hi Again Mark

My Great Uncle was also a Special Reservist and arrived in France on the 4/12/1914, his service number was SR/9571

Regards Andy

 

 

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