RIFLEMAN WALTER HILL SMITH
Died 14th August 1917
No. 5/169 (5/469) of the Rifle Brigade, The Prince Consorts Own 10th Battalion.
Born: Woburn Sands, 4th May 1898
Resided: Woburn Sands
Enlisted: Bedford, 14th August 1914
Walter was the youngest son of Walter Joseph, a postman, and Amelia Caroline. He joined up before he was 17, at the start of the war, and was no. 3/7543 of the Bedfordshire Regiment. By November, the “Woburn Reporter” noted he had been awarded a Good Conduct Stripe. His brother Roland was in the Ox. and Bucks. Light Infantry. Their mother lived in Wood Street, and was originally told he had only been wounded.
he transferred 10 months before he died. He was killed in action on the Western front.
North Bucks Times, 4th September, 1917 “Mr W. Smith, Wood Street, received an official notification on Thursday morning that his youngest son Walter was reported wounded on August 14th, but no details as to injuries or hospital he had been admitted to were at hand. Rifleman Walter Smith of the Rifle Brigade enlisted in the Beds Regt. in August 1914 and was transferred to the Rifle Brigade about 10 months ago.”
North Bucks Times, 9th October, 1917 “Rifleman Walter Smith Killed. Mr and Mrs Walter Smith, Wood Street, have heard from the War Office that their youngest son Rifleman Walter Smith, who was lately reported wounded, has been killed in action. Rifleman Smith joined the Army at the commencement of the war, though not 17 years of age. Much sympathy is felt for the parents and other members of the family. Another brother, Sgt. Roland Smith, Ox and Bucks Light Infantry, is in France.”
The action listed for that day was an attack by the 10th and 11th Battalion, starting at 4am, when they crossed the Steenbeek river and established positions on the eastern bank. The 10th were noted as having taken Mill Mound and four small bunkers.
Listed on the Ypres Menin Gate, Belgium. Listed on the Woburn Sands Memorial and Methodist Memorial. His Army Service papers have not survived.
Page last updated Jan. 2019.