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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Nottngham (New Basford) Cemetery. Photograph Peter Gillings
Person Details
Bulwell Nottingham
Samuel was the son of Samuel Smith and his wife Ann (née Burditt or Burdett). Samuel snr. was born in Kettlebrook, Warwickshire, in about 1850 and Ann in Warwickshire also in about 1850. They were married at Wilnecote, Tamworth, Staffordshire in 1868 and had at least ten children; the eldest of whom, James, died in infancy: James b. 1869 d. 1869, Joseph b. 1870, Catherine b. 1872, Sarah Jane b. 1875 and Mary birth registered 1877 (J/F/M) who were born in Kettlebrook, and Ada birth registered 1882 (J/F/M), Janet b. 1883 and Esther b. abt 1886 (d. 1905) who were born in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, and Samuel birth registered 1887 (J/F/M) and Charles b. 1889 who were born in Bulwell. Samuel and Ann were living in Kettlebrook with their son Joseph (under 1 year) in 1871 but had moved to Orchard Street, Hucknall, by 1881; Samuel was working as a coal miner. Their two youngest sons, Samuel and Charles, were born in Bulwell in 1887 and 1889 respectively, but by 1891 the family was living on Sydenham Street, Radford. Only the eldest son Joseph was not in the home on the night of the census. In 1901 Ann was living at 7 Redoubt Street, Radford, and described as head of household. Also in the home on the night of the census were six of her children, Sarah, Ada, Janet, Esther, Samuel, a general labourer, and Charles, together with her granddaughter Mary Bicknell (3), the daughter of Catherine (Smith) and her husband John Thomas Bicknell (m. 1891). Ann probably died in 1904 (reg. Atherstone Warwickshire buried Polesworth December). Samuel snr., a coal miner hewer, was living at 20 Redoubt Street, Radford, in 1907 when his youngest son Charles enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters (see below). He was still at the same address in 1911 but described on the census as a boarder in the household of his married daughter Catherine Bicknell, her husband and their six children. Samuel snr. probably died in March 1916 (reg. Mansfield). Samuel jnr. enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters in 1905 and in 1911 was serving with the 1st Bn. in India. (See 'Military History') His younger brother Charles attested in the Sherwood Foresters on 29 August 1907; he was then serving in the 1st Bn Notts Rifles Volunteers. Charles served at home until 6 October 1909 (2y 39d) then in India from 7 October to 11 November 1913 (4y 26d) but was invalided home (Netley) and discharged medically unfit for further service on 26 December 1913 having served for 6 years 120 days. The period from 12 November to 26 December was allowed to count as service in India. Samuel jnr. married Ada Miller (b. 1888) in 1913 (reg. A/M/J Nottingham) and they had one child, Samuel William, who was born on 5 September 1914, just days before his father landed in France. Ada was living on Denman Street, Radford, in 1914 when her husband died, but the later CWGC record gave her address as 5 Forsters Grove, Old Basford.
1901 - general labourer. 1903 - enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters, occupation cotton stretcher.
06 Nov 1914
2750689 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham.
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) Samuel enlisted at Nottingham on 14 January 1905. In 1911 he was serving with the 1st Battalion ('A' and 'B' Companies) at Gough Barracks, Trimulgherry, Deccan, India (Commanding Officer Lt. Col. OC Wolley Dod DSO). Samuel landed in France on 8 September 1914 and was serving with the 2nd Bn (landed St Nazaire 11 September) when he was wounded in action. According to a report in a local paper he took part in the battle of the Aisne (12-15 September), the Allied offensive against the right wing of the German First and Second Armies as they retreated after the First Battle of the Marne earlier that month. There was also a subsequent action on the Aisne Heights on 20 September. Samuel was medically evacuated to the UK and died of his wounds at the Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich, on 6 November 1914. He was buried with full military honours at Nottingham (New Basford) Cemetery, on 11 November (grave ref. B.5.33). He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
CWGC: 'Husband of Ada Smith, of 5, Forsters Grove, Old Basford, Nottingham.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 10 November 1914: ‘Smith. On the 6th inst., at Woolwich Hospital, Samuel Smith, the dearly beloved husband of Ada Smith. Interment Basford, 2.45, Wednesday.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 11 November 1914: ‘Death Wound in Battle of Aisne. Mortally wounded in the battle of the Aisne, a Radford soldier, Private Samuel Smith, of the 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters, was taken to the Woolwich military hospital where he died. His widow naturally desired to have him buried at home, and the expense of conveying his remains to Nottingham was readily shared by his comrades. The funeral accordingly took place to-day in Basford Cemetery, a Notts RHA gun-carriage conveying the coffin, which was enfolded in the colours, from the house in Denman-street. A firing party from the Robin Hood Rifles, under Sergeant Whittington, walked in front with reversed arms, and as they approached the cemetery gates their quick march was changed to the slow. A little company of the dead soldier’s regimental comrades stood at the gates, and as the gun carriage, with its burden entered they saluted and then fell in behind the coaches to accompany Private Smith to his resting place. The brief service in the chapel over, the coffin was carried on the sturdy shoulders of four Sherwood Foresters to the grave, the last rites being read by the rev. EW Hadwin. Despite heavy rain, a large crowd witnessed the sad ceremony, and heard the three volleys and the plaintive ‘Last Post.’ Then the people filed past the open grave for a farewell glimpse of one who played his soldier’s part, and gave up his life for his country. A number of fragrant wreaths were sent, one from the Sherwood Foresters, and another from neighbours. Private Smith was 27 years of age and was only recently married.’ (www.britishnewspaperarvhive.co.uk 'In Memoriam' notices published 6th November 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post 'SMITH. – In loving memory of Pte. Samuel Smith, who died of wounds, November 6th, 1914. His country called and he answered. Peace, perfect peace. – From his loving wife and baby' 'SMITH. – In loving memory of our dear brother, Private Sam Smith, died of wounds November 6th, 1914. Memory like ivy clings. – Ada, Percy.' Above courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Nottngham (New Basford) Cemetery. Photograph Peter Gillings
    Samuel Smith - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Nottngham (New Basford) Cemetery. Photograph Peter Gillings