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  • Commonwealth War Grave headstone marking the grave of Albert Smith at the General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings
Person Details
Nottingham
Albert was born in Nottingham about 1880. According to his army record, his father had died by the time he joined the Militia in 1897. His next of kin when he enlisted were his brothers, Percy Smith and John W Smith, both of 36 Bridlington Street, Nottingham, although his next of kin was later amended to his wife. He married Beatrice Stevenson, a spinster, at Nottingham Register Office on 28 December 1903. Beatrice had been born in Greenwich, London, and it is likely that she met Albert while he was serving in the ASC at Woolwich. They had no children. In 1911 they lived at 1 Broad Street Place, Broad Street, Nottingham, and had a boarder, William Hopkinson (32) who worked for the Midland Railway. Correspondence from the Army sent to Beatrice after her husband's death was addressed to 27 Bow Street, Wollaton, although she later moved back to London where she lived at 19 Sunfields Place, Old Dover Road, Blackheath (her late husband's medals were sent to her at an address off Old Dover Road, Blackheath, in 1920).
He was a groom when he enlisted in the Militia in 1897; he then joined the ASC in March 1898. He transferred to the Army Reserve in 1902 and probably returned to his original trade as in 1911 he was employed as a groom.
05 Aug 1915
35
2750580 - CWGC Website
T/13817
Nottingham
Driver
Army Service Corps
He enlisted in the Militia in Nottingham on 4 February 1897 in which he served 97 days drill before enlisting in the ASC on a short service engagement (3 years with the Colours, 9 years in Reserve) on 12 March 1898. He transferred to the Army Reserve on 30 November 1902 and on completion of 9 years in the Army Reserve he re-enagaged for four years from 30 November 1911. He was mobilized on 5 August 1914 and served with the Expeditionary Force Overseas from 15 August 1914 to 11 July 1915 before returning to home service on 12 July 1915. He was attached to 75th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps and at the time of his death was serving as a driver with the 14th Coy ASC. He died of valvular heart disease in Colchester Military Hospital at 8pm on 5 August 1915 and was buried in Nottingham General Cemetery. His army service was reduced to 15 years 249 days as he forfeited 628 days for desertion. He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. Albert's conduct sheet lists a series of misdemeanours while serving at Woolwich such as ‘absent from evening stables’ and ‘not grooming a pair of horses when ordered’. For these and similar offences he was generally confined to barracks. There were, though, more serious offences on his record. He was absent from duty on 27 May 1898, returning to duty on 5 June 1898 having been apprehended by the Civil Police at Nottingham on 5 June. There is a later record of desertion for which he was under arrest and awaiting trial on 20 November 1899; he was convicted of desertion and loss of kit on 30 November 1899. He forfeited prior service but had a sentence of imprisonment remitted and returned to duty 1 December 1899. He was again absent from duty on 19 March 1900 returning to duty on 26 March 1900. He was in custody (Civil Power) for wilful damage to a constable’s uniform on 13 October 1902 and he forfeited Good Conduct pay. The magistrate sentenced him to a 30 shilling fine (£1 fine and 10 shillings damages) or 10 days hard labour in Wandsworth Prison; presumably he paid the fine as he returned to duty as a driver on 15 October 1902. The following month he transferred to the Army Reserve. Memo to OC Military Hospital Colchester (date illegible), ‘Will you please forward as soon as possible, a dup. [duplicate] detailed medical report on the illness and death of above man who died in the Hospital under your command on the 5.8.1915 from VDH. The report which you rendered to this office was forwarded to the War Office on the 25.10.1915 but it is stated that they are unable to trace same. Will you kindly treat the matter as urgent.’
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 9 August 1915: 'Smith. On August 5th at Colchester Military Hospital, Driver Albert Smith ASC.' His widow, Beatrice, and a Lizzie Attenborough, were co-legatees. Beatrice was awarded a pension of 12/6d a week from 14 February 1916.
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Photos

  • Commonwealth War Grave headstone marking the grave of Albert Smith at the General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings
    Albert Smith - Commonwealth War Grave headstone marking the grave of Albert Smith at the General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings