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Person Details
John (Jack) was the son of John and Elizabeth Smith. His father completed the 1911 Census with the information that he and his wife had been married for 25 years and had had nine children born alive of whom only six were still living. Six children were named on the three census between 1891 and 1911: Elizabeth, John, Henry (Harry), Ernest Owen (Owen), Alice and Harriett (b. 1901 A/M/J). All the children were born in Nottingham. In 1891 John (28 b. Arnold), a framework knitter, and his wife (29 b. Sneinton), a lace worker, were living at Main Road, Carlton, with their two-year old daughter, Elizabeth. Ten years later in 1901 they were living at 23 Regent Hill, Sneinton, in the ecclesiastical parish of St Matthias. They now had six children; Elizabeth (12), John (9), Henry (6), Ernest Owen (4), Alice (2) and Harriett (2 weeks). In 1911 the family was living at 14 Robin Hood Terrace, Nottingham. John Smith was now a school caretaker. All six children were still living at home; Elizabeth (22) was a lace hand, John (18) worked for a milk seller, Henry (17) was an apprentice, Owen (14) was apprenticed to an ironmonger and Alice and Harriett were still at school. John's younger brother Owen enlisted in the Imperial Service Battalion, Territorial Force, on 11 May 1914 when he was 17y. 10m. old. The family home was still 14 Robin Hood Terrace. Both of John's brothers were also killed in the war. Owen served with the 1/7th Bn Robin Hoods, Sherwood Foresters, (2087 Private) and was killed on 13 October 1915 in the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt (Loos Memorial). Harry served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Private) and was killed in action on 18 November 1916 (Thiepval Memorial). Their father completed a form for the army on 31 May 1919 listing Owen's surviving blood relatives. By then the family home was at The School House, Douglas Road, Ilkeston Road, Nottingham, and John's three daughters, Elizabeth, Alice and Harriett, were still living with their father. It also looks as though John gave a different address for his wife (entry largely illegible) although the CWGC record, which was compiled at a later date, names both parents and gives their address as The School House.
In 1911 he was working for a milk seller.
31 May 1918
1760196 - CWGC Website
1/6th Bn Durham Light Infantry
Private John (Jack) Smith, served with 1/6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. Jack was reported missing in 1918 and his death had still not been confirmed by the time of the Armistice. An 'In Memoriam' notice to the three brothers (Owen, Harry and Jack) in the local paper on 18 November 1919 gave Jack's date of death as 27 May; the CWGC record has 31 May 1918. Like his two brothers, Jack has no known grave and is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial.
In memoriam published 18th November 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post:- “SMITH. – In loving memory of our dear son and brothers, Pte. Harry Smith, Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed Nov. 18th, 1916; Pte. Ernest Owen Smith, Robin Hoods, killed October 13th, 1915. We loved you in life, you are dear to us still, but in grief we must bend to God's holy will; the sorrow is great, the loss hard to bear, but angels, dear sons, will guard you with care. – Loving mother, father, sisters, brothers, Jack (missing).” Above is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 18 November 1919: ‘Smith. In loving memory of our dear sons and brothers, Pte Harry, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed in action November 18th, 1916; Private Owen, October 13th 1915; Pte Jack, May 27th 1918. We miss thee when the morning dawns, we miss thee when the night returns, we miss thee here, we miss thee there, dear lads we miss thee everywhere. Mother, father, sisters and brother.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on