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  • Plaque commemorating George Smith, Awsworth St Peter. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
Person Details
George Albert Smith was born in 1896 at Awsworth and was the son George a locomotive engine driver and Nancy Smith. His father George was born in 1865 in Awsworth and his mother Nancy was born in 1874 in Lenton. They were married in Nottingham in 1893 and had the following children all of whom were born in Awsworth except for the eldest child George Albert who was born in Radford: George Albert b1894, Ada Elizabeth b1896, William b1898, Hilda b1901, Annie b1903, Hubert b1907 and Florence Mabel b1909. In the 1911 census the family was living at 98 Main Street, Awsworth, and shown as George 46 yrs a loco engine driver, his wife Nancy 37 yrs and their children, George Albert 17 yrs a clerk in hosiery office, Ada Elizabeth 15 yrs a hosiery machinist, William 13 yrs scholar, Hilda 10 yrs scholar, Annie 8 yrs scholar, Hubert 4 yrs and Florence Mabel 2 yrs. The family was still living at the same address when George was killed in 1915.
Longstanding member of St Peter's church choir.
15 May 1915
155616 - CWGC Website
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Private George Albert Smith enlisted on 20th September 1914 at Nottingham. He gave his age as 20 yrs, address Main Street, Awsworth, Notts, and next of kin his father George of the same address. He was embodied for war on 31st September 1914 and posted to 'B' Company, 1/7th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment (Robin Hood Rifles). He landed in France on 28th February 1915 and was killed in action on 15 May 1915. He was buried the following day in the grounds of Kemmel Chateau, now CWGC Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery (grave ref A.55).
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Greater love hath no man than this St. John XV.13' Family memorial, St Peter's church, Awsworth: 'In memory of Pte George Albert Smith, 7th Sherwood Foresters, who left his home in defence of his country on the outbreak of the Great War. Killed in Flanders May 15th 1915 aged 21 years. Buried in Kemmel Chateau Grounds May 16th. As boy and man for many years a member of Awsworth Parish Church Choir. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. This tablet is placed here by his friends and fellow workers.' Another member of the choir, Herbert Coe, also died in the war and has a family memorial in the church. It was reported on 29th May 1915 in the 'Nottingham Daily Express,' that Ellen Smith had received official notification of the death in action of her son, George. Pte. George Smith, 2/7th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment (Robin Hood Rifles), had not left Luton and was alive. “MISTAKEN IDENTITY. “Extraordinary Coincidence of a Robin Hood Casualty. “An extraordinary case of mistaken identity in connection with the Robin Hoods has just come to light, and has resulted in a mother being able to discard her mourning which she had put on for a soldier son who was reported to her as killed in action in France. “It appears that there are two Smiths in the Robin Hoods both bearing the Christian name of George. One is – or was – with the Active Service Battalion in France, and the other is in the second line at Luton, which is awaiting orders to go to the front. By an extraordinary coincidence both apparently had the same number – 2647. “The name of Private George Smith of the Active Service Battalion has been inscribed on the scroll of honour, for he died a soldier's death about three weeks ago. He was a native of Awsworth, his bereaved family residing in Main-street. “The fact that both men had apparently the same number seems to be suggested by the painful experience of Mrs. Smith, of 45, Peas Hill-road, the mother of Private G. A. Smith, of the second line. Mrs. Smith was plunged into grief by the receipt of a telegram from the War authorities announcing that her son had been killed in action. She had no idea he was in the trenches, believing him to be still at Luton,from which town she had received a letter from his a week or two before. “Then a letter conveying to her the King's sympathy and regret at the death of her son arrived. “Son Never Left Luton. “While mourning the death, Mrs. Smith was stricken with astonishment to receive a letter from his bearing the Luton postmark. He commenced the missive with the news that he was “quite well.” Considerably mystified, Mrs. Smith lost no time in paying a visit to the headquarters of the Robin Hoods on Derby-road, where she was informed that Private G.A. Smith had never left Luton so far as they were aware. “The officer commanding the Robin Hoods' second line was communicated with by wire, and his reply satisfied the staff at the headquarters that the Private Smith in question had certainly not been drafted to the Active Service Battalion. Later, a wire, and then another letter from the soldier son completely turned his mother's grief into joy. “How the confusion came about is a matter which the officers at Derby-road have not yet been able to settle.” Ellen Smith was to receive another telegram informing her of George Smith's death in action. On that occasion, there was no mistake. He had been killed in action on 1st July 1916 serving with 1/7th Battalion and is buried in Gommecourt Wood New Cemetery, Foncquevillers. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 26 June 1916: ‘Smith. Killed in action, May 15th, Private George Smith, Robin Hoods, late of Main-street, Awsworth, aged 21 years. He died a noble death.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 'In memoriam', 15th May 1917: “SMITH. – In ever-loving memory of our dear nephew, Private George Smith, Robin Hoods, killed in Flanders May 15th, 1915. To memory dear. – Uncle Joe and aunt.” Report and above notice courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on


  • Plaque commemorating George Smith, Awsworth St Peter. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
    George Albert Smith - Plaque commemorating George Smith, Awsworth St Peter. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking George's grave. Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, France.  Photograph Murray Biddle
    George Albert Smith - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking George's grave. Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, France. Photograph Murray Biddle