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  • Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking the grave of Edwin John Smith situated in the General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings
Person Details
Edwin was the son of Edwin and Eliza Smith. His father, Edwin, was born in Market Overton, Leicestershire, and his mother, Eliza, in Aspley, Nottingham. They were married in 1883 (J/A/S Nottingham) and had five children of whom only three were still alive in 1911. Four children were named on the census of 1891, 1901 and 1911: Lucy A. b. abt 1884, Albert E b. abt 1885, Harold E b. abt 1890/91 d. 1891 and Edwin John b 1894 (O/N/D Nottingham). In 1891 Edwin (38) a saddler, and Eliza (32) and their three children Lucy (7), Albert (5) and Harold (3 months) were living at 16 Independent Street, Nottingham, with Eliza's father Joseph Oldham (65), a colliery banksman, and his daughter, Frances M Oldham (34) who was not in work and was described on the 1901 Census as 'feeble minded'. By 1901 Edwin, still working as a saddler and harness maker, was living at 20 Dryden Street with his family: Eliza (42), Lucy (17), Albert (15) an apprentice harness maker, and Edwin (6). Also in his household were his father-in-law, Joseph Oldham (75), and sister-in-law Frances (44). Frances died later the same year (1901 A/M/J Nottingham). Edwin and his family were living at 114 Pym Street, St Ann's, Nottingham, by 1911. His father was now working as a fishmonger's labourer and Edwin was an errand boy for a saddler. His sister, Lucy (27) was also still living at home and working as a typist at a cotton spinner's company. The family was still living at 114 Pym Street at the time of Edwin's death in December 1918.
In 1911 he was an errand boy for a saddler.
25 Dec 1918
24
2750583 - CWGC Website
13165
Private
3rd Bn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Private Edwin John Smith served with the King's Own Yorkshire Regiment; he had enlisted on 4th September 1914 at the age of 19 years 11 months. He served at home until going to France on 26 January 1915 but was medically evacuated to England on 23 April the same year after being wounded. His Army service documents survive and although the dates are unclear it appears from various entries on the Casualty Form Active Service in his service documents that he suffered several injuries 'in the field' in April 1915: 14th Field Ambulance - gunshot wound chest 9th Casualty Clearing Station - bayonet wound left hand 3rd Casualty Clearing Station - gunshot wound left hand 2nd Canadian Stationary Hospital - shrapnel wound right arm However, the record of a Medical Board on 24 February 1916 states that he received his wounds to his right arm in action at Hill 60, Ypres, on 4 April 1915. On the recommendation of the Medical Board Edwin was discharged from the Army on 11 March 1916. He had served a total of 1 year 95 days (Home 144 days. France 87 days. Home 324 days). He was awarded a silver badge, number 11339. Edwin fell from a tram in Nottingham and died in Nottingham General Hospital on Christmas Day 1918 (see 'Extra information' for further details of the accident). He was buried in Nottingham General Cemetery (16276E).
Personal inscription on CWGC headstone: ‘Nearer my God to thee’ The inquest into the death of a former soldier discharged through wounds was held on 27th December 1918. Edwin John Smith, formerly of 3rd Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, had died in Nottingham General Hospital on Christmas Day after he fell from a tram, being unable to grip with his wounded right arm. Following report is from the Nottingham Evening Post dated 27th December 1918 :- “DISCHARGED SOLDIER'S TRAGIC DEATH. “ATTEMPTED TO BOARD MOVING TRAM CAR. “A fatal sequel to a tram accident was investigated by Mr. C. L. Rothera, the Nottingham City Coroner to-day [27th December 1918]. The victim was Edwin John Smith, a discharged and wounded soldier, 11, Pym-street, Nottingham. On December 12th he attempted to board a Carlton-road car in Parliament Street. It was in motion and deceased's injured arm impeding him, he slipped. He tried again, and the same thing happened, and at the third attempt he lost his footing and fell on his back. He was removed to the General Hospital where death took place on Christmas Day. “Dr. M. Helen Perry said a post-mortem examination showed that tubercular meningitis was present and she attributed his death to this condition which was aggravated by a wound on the head, the result of the accident. Witness added that Smith had been wounded in the right arm which was very weak. “The verdict was in accordance with the medical evidence.” Above article courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Army service record, reference medical discharge from the Army: ‘Cause of discharge: Gunshot wound, right arm. Medical board 24 February 1916. ‘In action April 4th 1915 at Hill 60, Ypres, he has a hard scar, the size of a Crown piece adherent to right humerous at the level of the insertion of deltoid, which prevents him raising his arm above a right angle at shoulder. Operation adherent to the middle right ulna. The hand is (?) with marked dropped wrist. Unable to close or extend fingers. Med Bd. 24.2.1916 – permanent. Prevents ¾.’
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking the grave of Edwin John Smith situated in the General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings
    Edwin John Smith - Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking the grave of Edwin John Smith situated in the General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings
  • Grave, Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (January 2018).
    Edwin John Smith - Grave, Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (January 2018).