[Skip to content]

  • Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his Facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Person Details
Bulwell Nottingham
James William Smith was born in 1889 the son of Joseph a coal miner and Susan (née Black) Smith. His father was born in 1859 at Newton Nottinghamshire and his mother in 1857 at Holsworth Staffordshire. They were married in 1882 in the Basford Registration District and had ten children six of whom survived infancy. James William's siblings were Joseph b.1883 Bulwell, Rose Hannah b.1884 Bulwell, Charlotte b.1893 Hucknall , Eliza b.1895 Hucknall and Sarah b.1900 Hucknall. In 1911 they lived at 30 Belvoir Street Hucknall Torkard Nottinghamshire. In 1909 James William married Elizabeth Trueman who was the daughter of the landlord of the Fox & Hounds pub on Annesley Road Hucknall.
11 Jul 1918
528362 - CWGC Website
Lance Corporal
  • DCM DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal
1st Bn Grenadier Guards
‘Old Contemptible’ James William Smith enlisted in Nottingham and served with the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards as a stretcher-bearer. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions during the German counter-attack at Cambrai, 1st-2nd December 1917. His citation published in the London Gazette dated 1st March 1918 reads 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Owing to casualties among stretcher bearers he was sent to take charge of the evacuation of wounded. This he did for 58 hours, continuously under fire and without food, his rations having been blown up. He was wounded in the leg, but remained at duty after the relief until his last case had been cleared.' He died of wounds received on 11th July 1918 and is buried in St Hilaire Cemetery Extension, Frevent France. Grave Reference: J 18
Hucknall Dispatch dated the 20th December 1917 'Congratulations to Pte. J. W. Smith of Hucknall, who has been awarded the D.C.M. This honour is deserved in more ways than one, for he was among the first batch of men from Hucknall to enter the conflict. It goes without saying that he has seen many strange things, heard the deafening cannonades, and been in several tight corners, and now his latest act of valour has brought its reward in the Distinguished Conduct Medal. In previous issues we have related some & the experiences of this soldier, who forms on of the brave contingent from Hucknall who assisted in stopping the fierce onrushes of the Huns when their faces were set towards Paris and Calais. Pte. J. W. Smith, whose parents reside in Belvoir Street, and whose wife lives at the Fox and Hounds, Hucknall, is in the famous Grenadier Guards, as a stretcher bearer, which capacity brings under his notice some of the awful sights of the war. On the date which bears his award of the D.C.M. he was sent up to the firing line to attend to the wounded, and remained with them the whole of the night. The company had lost a lot of stretcher bearers, and there were not enough to keep the line clear. The next day Smith organised a party to carry the poor chaps away, and when the Battalion was being relieved the same night more men were badly wounded. There being no stretcher bearers with him, Smith, true to the core, remained with them for another night till he could obtain a further party from the relieving Battalion. Our hero modestly says he only did his duty. We hope he will return home safely to enjoy his honour.' Article courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Peter Gillings
Remembered on


  • Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his Facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
    James William Smith - Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his Facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.