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  • Smith family grave, Greasley St Mary churchyard.  Photograph  Peter Gillings.
Person Details
Greasley Derbyshire
Ernest was the only son of John and Ann Smith (née Gibson) and the husband of Amelia (née Wilson). His father John was born in Rempstone, Nottinghamshire. His mother Ann Gibson was born in Belton, Leicestershire, the daughter of Joseph and Jane Gibson. Joseph Gibson and his family were living in Old Westwood, Selston, by 1881 and had probably moved there some years earlier as his daughter Ann married John Smith at Selston St Helen in February 1876. John and Ann had four children: Margaret b. 1876, Mary birth registered 1880 (J/F/M), Ernest b. 1881 and Ada b. 1884. The three oldest children were born in Greasley and the youngest, Ada, in Eastwood. In 1881 John, a coal miner, and Ann were living at Lynn Croft, Greasley, with their daughters Margaret and Mary. By 1891 the family had moved to Victoria Street, Eastwood, where they were living with their three youngest children, Mary, Ernest and Ada . Also in the household was Ann's brother, Joseph Gibson (16, b. Belton bap Belton November 1874) who was also a coal miner. John and Ann were living at Dovecote Lane, Greasley, with three of their four children, Margaret an embroiderer, Ernest a watchmaker and Ada in 1901. They were still at the same address in 1911 although John's occupation was now shop keeper/general dealer on his own account. None of their children were now living at home. Ernest had married Amelia Wilson in 1910 and they were living at 7 Station Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, in 1911. There were probably no children of the marriage. Ernest's widow Amelia was still living at the same address in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled; her occupation was given as 'general shop'. Ernest's father John died on 26 May 1929 aged 70 and his mother Ann on 8 July 1948; both were buried in Greasley St Mary churchyard.
Ernest was a watchmaker/repairer and also described as a jeweller in a report of his death. He attended the Primitive Methodist Church where he was a Sunday School teacher.
14 Oct 1917
87350 - CWGC Website
7 Station Street Mansfield Woodhouse. Enlisted Mansfield
8th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment
8th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment Ernest Smith enlisted in 1916 and probably served in France from early 1917. He died at a casualty clearing station on 14 October 1917 from serious wounds to the head, arm and legs. His funeral was held the afternoon of 14 October. He is buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium (grave ref. VI.E.41) Ernest qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
CWGC record gives age as 36; family records 35, he would have been 36 in November 1917. CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Peace perfect peace' Greasley St Mary churchyard. Inscription on headstone: 'In loving memory of John Smith who died 26 May 1929 aged 70 years. Rest after weariness. Also Ann, his beloved wife, who died 8 July 1948 aged (-) years. Reunited. Also of Pte Ernest Smith, the only beloved son of the above, who died of wounds in France, 14 Oct. 1917, aged 35 years. Duty Nobly Done. Peace Perfect Peace.' Mansfield Reporter, 26 October 1917: ‘Death of Private Ernest Smith. Widespread sympathy has been felt for Mrs Ernest Smith of Station-street, who, on Saturday last, received the sad news that her husband, Private Ernest Smith, jeweller, had paid the supreme sacrifice whilst fighting in France. The news came by letter from the Rev. G Rigby Jones, CF, as follows, ‘Dear Mrs Smith, Your husband, Private Ernest Smith (31816), 8th South Staffs, was brought to this casualty clearing station, suffering from serious wounds in the arm, head and legs. I am very sorry to have to inform you that he passed peacefully away on the 14th, inst. The funeral took place in the cemetery here at 2.15pm today.’ A further letter was received on Sunday morning, written by Sergt. E Bales, of the same company, to a friend, asking that the sad news he conveyed to Mrs Smith. Her husband, he wrote, was mortally wounded on the 14th (Sunday). No official notification has been received, so it is still hoped better news may yet come to hand. All who were acquainted with Private Smith will have happy memories of him. He was always genial and cheerful, and was delightful company. Everybody respected him, and speak most highly of his character. The loss will be particularly felt at the Primitive Methodist Church, where he was associated with all its doings. He was a devoted Sunday school teacher and worker. He would have reached his 36th birthday in another month. He joined up on the 2nd November last, and was in training only eight weeks when he was sent to France.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 16 November 1917: ‘Thanks.’ ‘Mrs Smith of Station Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, desires to express her heartfelt thanks for the numerous and kindly messages of sympathy extended to her in the loss of her husband, Private Ernest Smith. November 16th, 1917.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, ‘In Memoriam’, 18 October 1918: ‘Smith. In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Private Ernest Smith, 8th South Staffs. Regt., who died of wounds received in France on October 14th, 1917. 'Peace perfect peace,’ ‘In Jesu’s keeping we are safe, and they.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Quotation from hymn ‘Peace, perfect peace’, lyrics Edward Henry Bickersteth, 4th verse: 'Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?/In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.’ Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser, 24 October 1918: 'Roll of Honour: Pte Ernest Smith 8th South Staffordshire Regiment, died 14/10/1917.' Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his widow Amelia was his legatee. Probate: Smith Ernest of 7 Station-street Mansfield Woodhouse Nottinghamshire died 14 October 1917 in Belgium on active service Probate London 17 January [1918] to John Smith retired miner. Effects £429 15s. 5d.
Remembered on


  • Smith family grave, Greasley St Mary churchyard.  Photograph  Peter Gillings.
    Ernest Smith - Smith family grave, Greasley St Mary churchyard. Photograph Peter Gillings.
  • Medingham Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle.
    Ernest Smith - Medingham Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle.