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  • Photo showing George James Smith courtesy of Alan Laurie
Person Details
George was born in 1886 in Retford and was the son of John a schoolmaster and Annie E. Smith, of The Lyndens, Retford, Notts. he had six siblings. In the 1911 census the family are living at The Lyndons, Retford he is 29 years of age single and a draper by trade.
09 Oct 1916
812720 - CWGC Website
16th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
George enlisted in Retford and served with the 16th battalion, Sherwood Foresters. Pte George Smith The Retford Times 20/10/1916 Mr and Mrs John Smith, The Lyndens, Retford, have this week received the distressing news of the death of their second son Pte George Smith, Sherwood Foresters who was killed in action on Oct 9th. Captain R L Illingworth in a sympathetic letter to the parents writes that Private Smith was killed during an attack on the German lines. “He did very good work and gave his life in a noble manner”. Three other letters have been receivedof the same platoon. Private Marsh states; “He was killed instantaneously by an enemy sniper. He was well liked and respected by all the boys in his platoon and he will be missed by us all. It is a severe blow to us as it will be to you and we deeply sympathise with you in your great loss. George died bravely fighting for King and country. I hope in the midst of your great grief you may feel proud on the way in which he gave his life and sacrificed everything. He was always ready to do anything he was called upon and he willingly shared his parcels with all the boys.” The deceased soldier who would have been 35 next month, served his apprenticeship with the late Mr Daft, draper, Carolgate and had been for 20 years at the same establishment now carried on by Mr H Glossop Hind. The deceased was called to the colours last April and went to France on July 15th. The last letter received from him by his parents was written on the day before his death. Mr Smith, who is also known as the headmaster of Retford Wesleyan Day Schools and as the hon. Secretary of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families’ Association, have received a very large number of letters of sympathy from friends, far and near, but finds it impossible to personally acknowledge them all. Another son, Sergt James Smith, has been with the Sherwood Foresters (TF) for about two years The 27th Oct 1916 issue of the Retford Times reported in fuller detail the death of Private George Smith as follows :- “Since the announcement in our last issue of the death in action of Pte George Smith, Sherwood Foresters, second son of Mr & Mrs John Smith, The Lyndens, Retford various public authorities, of which Mr Smith is a member have passed resolutions of sympathy with the bereaved parents viz Retford Board of Guardians, Retford Branch of the Retford Soldiers’ and sailors’ Families Association and the Retford Education Authority. Appropriate references were also made on Sunday by the Rev J W Acres at the Wesleyan Church with which Mr Smith is prominently associated and has been organist for many years. The Rev T Gough, headmaster of Retford Grammar School at a meeting of the Education Authority suggested that “Mr Smith would feel nothing but gratification and pride that he had given his gallant boy in a righteous cause”. Mr Smith felt proud that his son had met his death nobly fighting for King and Country and trusted that his and many other gallant lives would not be lost in vain but that a righteous and proper peace would result.” He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial
Information on George Smith has been provided courtesy of Alan Laurie
Remembered on


  • Photo showing George James Smith courtesy of Alan Laurie
    George James Smith - Photo showing George James Smith courtesy of Alan Laurie
  • Photo shows the Thiepval memorial on the Somme upon which the name of George James Smith is commemorated
    George James Smith - Photo shows the Thiepval memorial on the Somme upon which the name of George James Smith is commemorated