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  • Family grave and headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (April 2017)
Person Details
Boston Lincolnshire
Herbert Ralph, known as Ralph, was the son of George and Annie Smith. According to the 1911 Census completed by Ralph's father, his parents had been married for 17 years and had had three children; three children were named on the 1911 Census: May (b. 1895, J/A/S Boston), Ralph (b. 1896, J/A/S Boston) and Horace. The latter may be William Horace whose birth was registered in 1902 (J/A/S Boston) and who according to a passenger list in 1957 (Canadian Pacific Line, HMS Empress of England, Montreal to Liverpool) was born on 17 July 1902. In 1901 George (30, b. Wigtoft, Lincolnshire), a gardener, and Annie (27, b. Holland, Lincolnshire) were living at Wyburton West Hill, Boston, Lincolnshire, with their two children May (5) and Ralph (4). Also in the household were four male boarders. By 1911 the family was living at White Bridge, Skirbeck Quarter, Boston. George was still working as a gardener but Annie was shopkeeper, probably on the premises as the census described her work place as 'at home'. May (15) was a shop assistant so may have been assisting her mother, Ralph (14) was an office clerk and Horace (8) was still at school. An item in the Boston Guardian at the time of Ralph's death in 1917 said that his parents were then living in Grimsby, and this was where Ralph enlisted. However, according to one military record his residence was in Nottingham and Ralph's parents did eventually move to Nottingham as the CWGC record gives their address as 29 Addison Street, Nottingham. Ralph's sister, May, died on 6 November 1924 aged 29 and was buried in Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery.
Before moving to Nottingham he worked in the offices of Messrs Jebb & Tunnard of Boston.
26 Aug 1917
335212 - CWGC Website
His resided in Nottingham
Lance Corporal
10th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment
Ralph enlisted prior to the Derby Scheme and had been serving in France for about 19 months at the time of his death. He had had a period of home leave just a month before his death. Ralph is buried in Hargicourt British Cemetery (grave ref. I.E.12). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Boston Guardian, Saturday 29 September 1917: ‘Local Men Missing. Lance-Corpl. Ralph Smith. Formerly of Boston. News has been received from a chum by the parents of Lance-Corpl. Ralph Smith, Lincolnshire regiment, son of Mr George Smith, formerly of White Bridges, Skirbeck Quarter, and now of Grimsby, that their son has been missing since the 26th August. He joined up voluntarily previous to the Derby Scheme, and had been 19 months in France. A month before he was missing he had been home on leave, and had been back only a short time in the trenches. He was, when he resided in Boston, in Messrs. Jebb and Tunnard’s office, and was about 21 years of age.’ (www.britishnewspapersarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father was his legatee. Inscription on family grave, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery: 'In loving memory of May dearly loved and only daughter of George & Annie Smith died Nov. 6th 1924 aged 29 years. Also of Ralph brother of the above killed in action in France Aug. 26th 1917 aged 21 years. Someday we shall understand.'
Remembered on


  • Family grave and headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (April 2017)
    Herbert Ralph Smith - Family grave and headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (April 2017)