[Skip to content]

  •  Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Clarborough, Nottinghamshire
Henry Smith and Hannah Beech were both natives of Retford who married there in 1889. They had their first child, Hannah, the following year, registered in Sheffield. In 1891, the three of them were living in Union Street, Worksop where Henry was working as a maltster’s labourer. Maybe it was the call of a better job as a gas house labourer work-ing for municipal council that made them return to Retford where they resided at 6 Spital Hill in Retford. In 1896 they had their first child in Retford who they named Albert Edward, which was followed by Henry in 1901, Charles in 1903 and Sidney born in 1906. In 1911, the two eldest children were working, Hannah as a laundry maid and her brother, Albert as an apprentice moulder in the local iron foundry
08 Aug 1915
917153 - CWGC Website
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
'A' Coy, 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). Albert Smith joined the Territorials on the 16 March 1914. He attested at Retford and enlisted with the Sherwood Foresters on a 4 year engagement. He transferred to embodied service and served with the BEF France from 1 March 1915 . Albert Edward Smith was one of four men in the battalion who were killed in the trenches by shell fire on 8 August 1915. The others were Sergeant Arthur Phillipson and Privates Ernest King and Percy Scott. Albert has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 39 and 40). ‘History of the 1/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters 1914-1919’, Capt. WCC Weetman MC CdG, ‘The Salient June 1915-October 1915’ Mentioning the casualties following the ‘activities of July 30th and 31st’, the author continued ‘This total was increased from day to day by incessant shelling, trench mortars and rifle grenades, and by the unfortunate inaccuracy of one of our 6-inch naval guns which persisted in firing into our trenches until its identity was eventually discovered. During the first fortnight in the Salient here, our casualties were no fewer than four officers wounded [named[, 36 other ranks killed, or died of wounds, and 90 wounded. Included amongst the killed were Sergt A Phillipson who throughout had shewn the utmost coolness and gallantry.'
CWGC additional information: 'Son of Henry Smith, of 107, New Inn Walk, Thrumpton, Derby.' Four Territorials killed by shell fire Worksop Guardian 20 August 1915 'News has reached Retford of the death at the front of four of the Territorials, killed by one shell whilst serving in the trenches. Of the four the best known is Sergt. Arthur Phillipson, younger son of Mr and Mrs Phillipson, of Richard Street, Newtown, joined the Retford Volunteers about 10 years ago and remained in the company after it transferred to the Territorial Association. He was an excellent soldier, being very keen in learning his duties, and he soon rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was also a very good shot, and his advice on the rifle and all matters appertaining to the duties of a soldiers was always readily given. His death has come as a painful shock to his parents, for he was an exceptionally loyal and dutiful son. He was closely associated with St Alban’s Church which he regularly attends. A short time ago we recorded with pleasure a tribute from his platoon commander after a singularly brave deed performed in the trenches. The Lieutenant wrote that he was proud to have such a Sergeant under his command. 'Sergt. Phillison was killed, together with Lce-Corpl Scott and Ptes King and Smith by a shell during the recent heavy fighting when several German trenches were captured. He had been employed at the Rubber Works for many years and was highly respected by everyone for his quiet and gentlemanly disposition. Lce-Corpl Scott (20) who’s parents reside nearly opposite those of Sergt Phillison, who was another of the victims, was formerly employed at Messrs. Jenkin’s Beehave Works. The news of his death is conveyed in a letter from Pte Farrand as follows:- “ I am writing to you with deep regret to inform you that poor Percy was killed this morning (Monday) along with three more lads by a shell. Two battalions on the left of our Company were to make an attack at dawn and after an hour’s bombardment of the Germans, they did so and our Company had to file into the trenches they had left, so we came in for a good deal of shell fire. It was while we were holding this trench that Percy and the three lads were killed. I was in the next bay and got a good shaking but nothing more. We are all sorry to lose him, for he was very much liked by all in the platoon. He was a capable NCO and we were the only two from Retford in his section, so I shall miss him very much.” 'Pte King was the only son of Mr Ambrose King. Dominie Cross Road, and also formerly employed Messrs. Jenkin’s Beehave Works. He had been in the Territorials three years and was 21 years of age. Private Albert Smith attended the first camp with the Terriers just before war broke out. News of his death has been received from Pte Sly, his chum in the trenches. Deceased was formerly employed as a moulder, at Messrs. Jenkin’s. His Parents reside in Alma Road.' Pte Albert Smith Retford Times 20 August 1915 'Pte Albert Smith was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Henry Smith, Alma Road, Retford. He was 20 years of age last May and was learning to be a moulder at the works of Messrs W J Jenkins and Co., Ltd. The deceased’s father has been employed at the Corporation Gas Works for 17 years. Pte George Sly, son of Mr and Mrs Alan Sly, Woolpack Street, Writing to Mr and Mrs Smith says, “I am sorry to say that poor Albert was killed with a shell. It is a very sad blow to us as he was a good pal and a soldier. He was well liked by all his comrades. It happened about 6 o’clock. We had to move up the trench as there were not many men in it. They were shelling us all the night. Albert and three more men had to man one traverse, and I was in the next one to his. We had not been in many minutes when a shell hit the parapet killing him and his three pals instantly. He did not suffer any pain. He has been buried in a nice burial ground at the back of the firing line and you can rest assured that his grave will be well looked after. It has been a bitter blow to me as we were the best of pals and had been all our lives. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great loss.' Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on


  •  Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
    Albert Edward Smith - Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)