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Person Details
Bakewell, Derbyshire
Thomas was born in 1889 in Bakewell and was the son of George a wheelwright and Annie Eliza Smith (nee Richards), of Rock House, Tibshelf, Alfreton, Derbyshire. Thomas from the age of 8 years of age , moved in with his uncle, chemist Jonathon Henry Smith of 10 Bridge Street , Newark who brought him up and was training him to take over the chemist business. His probate was proven on 9th December 1918 in London and shows him as Thomas Rowland Smith of Tibshelf, Derbyshire , died 30th March 1918 in Palestine. His effects of £239 7 shillings 4 pence went to George Smith a wheelwright (his father)
Educated at the Magnus Grammar School , Newark. He was an oarsman with Newark Rowing Club and an rode horses. He entered his uncle’s business and was studying chemistry at Edinburgh University upon the declaration of War
30 Mar 1918
1647104 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
Attached Imperial Camel Corps
The following are two extract from the Magnus School, Newark diary of the 'Great War' Sunday 30 May 1915: Old Magnusian Corporal Thomas Rowland Smith wrote to his uncle, Jonathon Henry Smith, chemist, at 10 Bridge Street, about life with the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in Cairo, the Egyptian capital: ‘We are in Barracks about 2 miles from Cairo and it is fearfully hot out here although the summer is only just arriving. We shall soon melt with the sun glaring day after day. There are dozens and dozens of barracks here and most of the Australians have left for the Dardanelles, but there are a lot of New Zealanders and also different regiments of London Yeomanry who have been here for months. We get plenty of work, but not so much food as we did at home. The Government rations per man here to 1lb meat and 1lb of bread with tea and ½oz of rice per day. We get about 6d a day extra out here and that buys bacon, a sausage or eggs for breakfast and 1oz jam and butter for tea, but I can manage alright … Our barracks are very old ones. In fact, they were built by Napoleon.’ Thomas had been his uncle’s assistant pre-War and was expected to succeed him as the chemist. He was later attached to the Imperial Camel Corps and was killed in action in Palestine in March 1918 [see the Diary for 4 April 1918]. Thursday 4 April 1918: Chemist Jonathon Henry Smith of 10 Bridge Street learned that the nephew he was training to take over the business has been killed in Palestine. ‘Tommy’ Smith, 29, born in Bakewell, Derbyshire, moved to live with his uncle aged eight, went to the Magnus, became an eager oarsman with Newark Rowing Club and an intrepid horseman, entered his uncle’s business and was studying chemistry at Edinburgh University upon the declaration of War, since when he had been a regular and optimistic correspondent [see 30 May 1915]. As he was already a trooper in the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, he returned home and was posted to Egypt and thence to Gallipoli, where he was promoted Sergeant as the result of his part in the hard fighting. After a home leave in spring 1917, he was on a ship that was torpedoed with the loss of the Regiment’s horses; but all the men survived and reached Egypt. Tommy obtained a commission in the Sherwood Foresters in February 1918 and was attached to the Imperial Camel Corps in Palestine. In his last letter to his uncle, he wrote in an entirely happy vein. But now the shock news was that 2/Lt Thomas Rowland Smith died of wounds on 13 March. A month later, a letter from his Commanding Officer arrived for the mourning chemist: ‘I would like to write you just a short line to tell you how we feel the loss of your gallant nephew. His Company bore the brunt of the three days’ hard fighting on the 28, 29 and 30 March. And they answered in the most gallant fashion to any call that was put on them. There is nothing I know that can compensate for the loss of the boy, but the knowledge that he died a most gallant death, and doing his duty most manfully, is something.’ A further letter from a brother officer added more detail: ‘We were at a place called Amman on the Hedjaj Railway, about 50 miles east of the north end of the Dead Sea. The [censored] Battalion Camel Corps were attacking the town whilst a demolition party were engaged in blowing up the railway. On the night of the 28th we attacked the redoubt in front of the town, which we captured and held during the next day. On the morning of the 29th your nephew was running to me to take an order, and was sniped and hit in the chest. He was taken back to the field ambulance but the wound proved fatal. He was buried with two brother officers at a place about two miles west of Amman on the main road to Jericho, and a stone cairn erected over the site.’ Thomas is remembered on the Jerusalem Memorial. Of his battling brothers, three were in Palestine and one in East Africa. Jerusalem Memorial Israel
Remembered on