Private 13531 - Sherwood Foresters
Notts and Derby Regiment 10th Battalion
Enlisted: Derby 26th August 1914
Died of Wounds France 13th October 1918 : Aged 29
Inchy Communal Cemetery Extension - B 12
Private 13531 Albert Smith was born Q4 1889 in Wirksworth. Native parents marriage 17th May 1880 between Mr George Smith and Miss Mary Ann Thompson keeps strong ties within that Matlock locality to claim same Derbyshire birthplace raising ten children. Father George was an experienced Groom and Domestic formerly at The Vaults House, Coldwell Street. The 1901 census lists full household in St Johns Street, finding another gentleman's Waltham House employing close neighbours. Then current Gardener aged 42, George heads his family home with wife Mrs Mary Ann Smith 39, who's still mothering Lydia Annie 19, William 17, Ada 15, George 14, Albert 12, Harry 10, Maggie 9, Eva 5, John 4, and Ellen 7 months.
Mr Albert Smith was a 12 year old errand boy who eludes 1911 trace after gaining army experience. His Huthwaite connection is only assured through 1912 Q3 marriage with Miss Elizabeth Hannah Curzon, born Q2 1893 in Heage. Her Crich parents had by 1901 settled their dependant family into 78 Newcastle Street, tying fathers coal hewing work at the Huthwaite New Hucknall Colliery. Mr John Curzon 52 and Mrs Mary Curzon 46 head that 1911 home, already shared by one married elder daughter, Mrs Eliza Ann Scothern and husband Everett with grandson John Henry 11 months. An unrelated boarder must similarly leave room for when Albert husbands Mrs Elizabeth Hannah Smith next adding their own son Horace into grandparents shared household.
Pte 13531 Albert Smith was reportedly last employed by Ripley Urban District Council before voluntary enlistment. Attestation at Derby 26th August 1914 reveals he'd followed fathers trade of Groom, before claiming previous military service with Sherwood Foresters Territorials. This furthermore explains preference to quickly rejoin those colours when war broke out, as well as soon qualifying a September appointed Lance Corporal posted October 1915 with 9th Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. L/Cpl 13531 A Smith served in Eqypt until reverting back to Private at his own request 27th March 1916. It might be coincidental, but certified death of his 3 year old infant from Croup sadly happened just five days earlier on the 22nd.
Private Albert Smith was redeployed into the Western Front landing in France 4th July 1916. Serious leg wounds inflicted August 1917 demanded English hospital treatment until December. Return to the France and Flanders battlefields ultimately recognises transfer into the 10th Regimental Battalion. Platoon chum relayed news how Pte 13531 A Smith was again wounded in action at time trying to save another fallen comrade in arms. That proved fatal by swiftly causing death 13th October 1918, aged 29.
Albert Smith was buried in the nearby Inchy Communal Cemetery Extension, and is commemorated in Derbyshire named on their Wirksworth Church War Memorial. The widowed Mrs Elizabeth Hannah Smith received gratuities and a war pension that reflected certified proof of sons death, still holding registered address 78 Newcastle Street to offer Huthwaite roll of honour.
Official notice was received last Friday of the death from wounds at Etaples, France, of Private A.E. Smith, 13531, 10th. Battalion Notts and Derby Regiment. He died on October 13th. Private Smith, whose 30th. birthday would have occurred this week, lived at 78, Newcastle Street, Huthwaite, when he enlisted over four years ago, a fortnight after the war broke out to be precise. He was then employed by the Ripley Urban District Council. A year ago he was wounded seriously in the leg. He leaves a widow, but no children.
A letter from a chum, dated October 13th. reads as follows:-
A few brief lines, trusting you will not be quite so shocked as I anticipate, but I have the great misfortune to inform you that your husband has passed away from wounds, which he received whilst dressing the wound of one of his chums. He was greatly liked by the platoon, and the lads send their deepest sympathy to you. His personal belongings you will no doubt receive before many days, as they were securely packed and ready for sending. I thought it my painful duty to relieve you of the monotony of not hearing from him. - Private H.E. Raferty.