Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Lieut. S.M. Smith 1/23 Bn London Regiment & 2nd Lieut. C. Brown 6 Bn West Yorkshire Regiment


Recommended Posts

I am requesting any information available for two officers who were commissioned in 1916 or earlier:

Lieutenant S.M. Smith, of 1/23rd Battalion of the London Regiment

2nd Lieut. C. Brown, of 6th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment

Biographical information (forenames, birthdate, birthplace, education and prewar activities

and employment, wartime postings, and postwar life are all of interest.  Any assistance will be

appreciated greatly.

Regards,

Josquin

Link to post
Share on other sites

A Pte. Cyril Brown of the West Yorkshire Regt. was gazetted 2nd Lt. into the same Regt. on 27 January 1916 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29463/page/1374 (the heading is on page 1373). Territorial Force of which 6th West Yorks was a unit.

 

Although he appears to have been promoted to Lt. on 27 July 1917 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30376/supplement/11675 (the heading West Yorks. Regt. is on page 11674).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cyril Brown has a medal index card which gives his service number as 2536 prior to his commission into the West Yorks. Regt.

An address is also given:  'Rhodesia', 250, Ifflay Road, Oxford

Being an other rank in the 6th Bn would point to the fact that he was either born in Bradford or certainly working/living there prior to WW1.

Your best bet would be to see if his Officer's Service Record is held at the National Archives, if so then this will fill in lots of details regarding his service and personal details.

Link to post
Share on other sites

S.M. Smith is noted on the ever excellent "airhistory.org" which will give  some references to him in RFC- he was wounded by a (groundfire?) rifle bullet in the shoulder in October 1916. I have not yet located an officer file for him

Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to voltaire60's post - 2nd Lt. S. M. Smith was appointed Flying Officer (Observer), R.F.C., and seconded from the London Regt. 31 July 1916 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29976/page/2380

 

I have yet to turn him up in the Gazette Index.

 

Edit: The March 1916 Army List gives his date of commissioning as 2 November 1915, but still cannot find his name in the Gazette.

Edited by HarryBrook
Link to post
Share on other sites

Harry, Voltaire, and Old Owl,

Thank you for your highly informative posts.  Lieutenant Smith has been difficult to research because there does not appear to be

an Army Officer's Service Record for him in the WO 339 series at the National Archives.

Best regards,

Josquin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Josquin-could you put up details of what you have, so we can try and work into this backwards??  An aircrash perhaps (fatal/non-fatal??)   Alas, Brown and Smith are 2 of the commonests English surnames,which makes it that much harder -The old advice for doing family history,if you are stuck, is to go for the most uncommon surname and pray there no Smiths or Browns but your 2 set a challenge from the start!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Voltaire,

Regrettably, I have no information about S.M. Smith other than his rank and regiment.  I did find a reference on Findmypast for a

Sidney Mitchell Smith in "London Volunteer Soldiers 1859-1955," but I could not access it as I am not a subscriber.  A London Gazette

search for Sidney Mitchell Smith did not yield any results.  Old Owl was spot on about Cyril Brown and Bradford--a Cyril Brown was

born in 1881, at Mickley, West Riding,  was a Bradford resident at the time of the 1911 Census, and he died in Bradford, in 1939.

As you stated, researching an officer with the Smith surname is a daunting challenge, indeed.  The absence of service records in

the WO 339 and AIR 76 files at the National Archives may be due to postwar service with the RAF.  If so, his service record would

be at the MOD, but inaccessible without knowing his forenames and birthdate.  Again, my thanks for your help.

Best regards,

Josquin

Link to post
Share on other sites

The findmypast record refers to Sidney Mitchell Smith, 6539727, 3rd Battn. London Regt., enlisted 1 October 1930 discharged 30 September 1934.

 

There is also an R.A.F. Officers' Service record for an S. M. Smith. It gives no Christian names, or rank, or date of birth, or address; it simply states, in one column, "CDD 12/5/1918" and a note "Sheet Started 6/7/18".

 

The only London Gazette notification I can find is the one posted above regarding his secondment to the R.F.C. He is included in the April 1918 Air Force List in the section Flying Officers and Observers but only with his initials. He is not in the 1922 Air Force List on the National Library of Scotland site under Flying Officers. There is no listing for him in the London Gazette index, Royal Air Force section, checking up to and including 1930 - no promotion, no being placed on the unemployed list, no relinquished commission - nothing. Unless he was still serving after 1930 it would seem to suggest that he died, but wildcard searching the BMD deaths index "S*. M. Smith" throws up no convincing hits.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

Harry,

Your research to learn more about Lieut. S.M. Smith is appreciated greatly.  The AIR 76 service record was a minimal afterthought

that is unhelpful, but it does not list a placement on the Unemployed List as these records generally do.  Thank you for clarifying

the dates of service for Sidney Mitchell Smith.  I could not find BMD birth and death registrations for any Sidney Mitchell Smiths

in England and Wales, so it appears that we have reached the end of the trail in this instance. 

Best regards,

Josquin

Link to post
Share on other sites

As Mr Voltage has noted, S M Smith gets the following mentions on the Air History site;

 

Smith        SM    S M                        Mil Record    AIR 76/473/158    33001                SMITH
Smith    2Lt    SM    S.M.        Lond. R. T.F.        15.11.16    to be Flying Officer (Observer) with seniority from 31st July 1916 and to be seconded    Gazette    17. 2380    15702            161115    SMITH
Smith    2Lt    SM    SM        London Regt    9Sq    31.07.16    attached    movement    CF22556    30042        London Regt    160731    SMITH
Smith    2Lt    SM    SM        9th Loyal North Lancs Regt        24.09.17    accepted as Obs on prob    movement    CF22557    30043        Loyal North Lancs Regt    170924    SMITH
Smith    2Lt    SM            23 London R        00.03.18    Flying Officer Observer    ALMar18    25/img_3683    1950            180300    SMITH
Smith    2Lt    SM                9Sq    12.10.16    wounded [- -] Wounded in shoulder by rifle bullet. 2Lt SM Smith wounded (Obs)    CasBook    AIR 1/967 p65    703            161012    SMITH
Smith    2Lt    SM            1/23 London R    9Sq France    12.10.16    Wounded [- BE2c] Bullet wound in shoulder    CasCard    285754    22271            161012    SMITH

 

 

 

Note that Hubert Stacey Marten Smith, 9 Sqn, was in a plane with L.C. Burcher a week before SM Smith was.  Coincidence?

 

Smith    2Lt    HSM    H.S.M        Lond. R. T.F.        01.06.17    to be TLt whilst serving with R.F.C.    Gazette    17. 7195    23240            170601    SMITH
Smith    2Lt    HSM    H.S.M.        Lond. R. T.F        22.04.17    to be Flying Officer    Gazette    17. 4603    18835            170422    SMITH
Smith        HSM    Harry S M                        Mil Record    AIR 76/471/108    32590                SMITH
Smith    Capt    HSM    Hubert Stacey Marten        London Regt 9601 Pte. London Regt 2Lt. RFC Captain                Medals    WO 372/18/149581    40538                SMITH
Smith    2Lt    HSM                9Sq    05.10.16    Ok [5739 BE2e] Damaged on landing from practice contact patrol. 2Lt LC Burcher Ok/2Lt HSM Smith Ok    CasRep    AIR 1/845    1710

 

Ancestry:

HSMSMITH.jpg.0bbc7928f7e3c35b1a31dd9e2eb9e264.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

IPT,

The Air Force List for April 1918 has separate listings for Lt. S.M. Smith and Lt. H.S. Marten-Smith.  The AIR 76 Officer's Service Record at TNA

lists Hubert Stacey Marten-Smith and records postings to 12 Squadron (22 April 1917, also appointed Flying Officer) and to 59 Squadron

as Flight Commander (4 February 1918).  Posted to Home Establishment on 26 April 1918, he was assigned to training squadrons in the U.K.

until he was placed on the Unemployed List (24 April 1919).  The AIR 76 record does not mention a posting to 9 Squadron in 1916, but

the casualty report confirms this service.  A coincidence, indeed, that warrants further investigation, as Captain Smith is also listed as H.S.M.

Smith as well as H.S. Marten-Smith, as you noted.  Thank you for calling this to my attention.

Best regards,

Josquin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...