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Private John Smith

 
 

Harrogate Herald - 20th June 1917

W H Breare letter

News has just come that Private John Smith, son of Mr and Mrs Charles Smith, 37 North Lodge Avenue, New Park, was wounded April 28th. In answer to enquiries an officer writes to say that he was cleared through the clearing station. Since then his people have heard nothing, and they are anxious. Can you boys get the mother the information she so sorely needs? His number is 925070, B Company, 7th Platoon, 5th Canadian Battery.

 

Harrogate Herald - 27th June 1917

Roll of Honour

Mr & Mrs Charles Smith, 37 North Lodge Avenue, New Park, Harrogate, whose son, Private John Smith, was missing since April 28, received official notice that he has been posted as missing and wounded from that date. Now they have received a letter, which was sent by the missing man's officer to his brother, Private Sam Smith, in France, in which he states : In answer to your letter writing about your brother, there is no further news. I am very much afraid that he must have died of wounds. He was very badly wounded by a machine gun. I met the sergeant just now who was with him when it happened. They were making an attack at the time, and had got about three-quarters of the way to the objective, the village of --------. The sergeant at the time he was wounded did not think that your brother would live. Nobody seems to know anything, so far as I can discover, of your brother having been carried out to a dressing station, and there is no record of his having passed through any other dressing station or field ambulance or hospital. He was hit in the stomach. I am afraid there is very little chance of his getting down the line without a single record having been made of his transfer from one medical unit to another. The Germans did not return to the position that was captured, so he would not be a prisoner. It looks very much as though he had been buried near the front line by the battalion which relieved us the following day, and that they found no identification on the body. I am very sorry for the distress that it must be causing you, and especially your parents. Tell them all his comrades, officers, and men would very much wish to join with me in this little message of sympathy.

Private John Smith, who was the third son of the above, joined the Army in Canada in November, 1915, and went out to France in November, 1916, and, excepting one day's leave, had not been home for five years. His eldest brother, Private T Smith, is in the RE's in France. Driver C A Smith, the second son, is with the ASC in training in England. The missing man is the third son, and the youngest is Private Sam Smith, who is with the West Yorks in France, to whom the letter was written.

 

Harrogate Herald - 11th July 1917

Roll of Honour

The news we published a fortnight ago inferring the death of Private John Smith, of the Canadians, who was reported missing (son of Mr & Mrs Charles Smith, 37 North Lodge Avenue, New park, Harrogate), has been confirmed by a letter from Sergeant H Pearce, who says he has made all possible enquires, into the action of April 28th : "Your son was shot in the stomach by a machine gun. he was as comfortable as possible when the lads of his section passed on. Nothing further was known about him until his pay book was handed in by the unit cooperating on the left of his battalion. I regret to say that is conclusive evidence that at the time your son's pay book was taken from him he was dead. If there was any possible chance that he was taken prisoner I would tell you, but I am sorry to say that there isn't. I endeavoured to find the sergeant who was with him, but doubtless he was also a casualty". After referring to the custom regarding parcels, the sergeant tenders his sympathy with the family in their sad loss, and says it may be some consolation to know he died a hero's death, and was one of the best of comrades.

W H Breare letter

I am sorry to have to tell you that Private John Smith, a Harrogate man, who has been out in Canada, and whose wounds we recorded the other day, has died. He was found wounded in the field, but did not reach hospital. He was made as comfortable as possible ere he passed away. His father and mother reside at 57 North Lodge Avenue, New Park, Harrogate. It appears that no one was with Smith when he died, but his wounds were deemed to be fatal, and afterwards his pay book was handed in by, it is presumed, those who found him.

 

Harrogate Herald - 18th July 1917

W H Breare letter

Private J Clarke, of the 107th Canadians was discharged from hospital on Saturday, the 7th. He had been wounded in the arm on the 7th of May, and had been sent to Lady Onslow's Hospital, Blendon Park, Guildford. Being on ten days' leave he came in to see me. It was shrapnel that did the business for him. He is a son of Mr J Clarke, of Belmont Street, who worked thirty years on the Duchy Estate for David Simpson. Young Clarke, my soldier friend, went out to Canada eight years ago, where he was living at Estevan before the war. He told me, speaking about comrades, that Arthur Holliday, son of Sam Holliday, out-porter, was wounded on the 9th April, and in hospital in this country. Then there were two friends, Charlie Hargreaves and J Smith, both of whom have been killed. Hargreaves used to drive a cab in Harrogate; Smith's father was a plumber at New Park. Clarke's brother George Clarke was killed on the 27th of June, 1916.

 

Harrogate Herald 28th April 1920

In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Private John Smith, 5th Battalion, Canadians, son of Charles Smith and Sarah Jane Smith, North Lodge Avenue, New Park, died of wounds received in action April 28th, 1917, aged 28 years From father, mother, brother and sisters.

 

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