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Heroes Of Our Time

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Ernest George Smith

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Family History

 

Date Of Birth: 1890

Date Of Death: 29/10/1918 (Age 28)

 

Brother

 

Frederick William Smith

DOB: 14/02/1888

DOD: 18/10/1926 (Age 38)

 

 

Military History

 

Service Number: 201195

 

Regiment: Norfolk Regiment 9th Battalion

 

Rank: Corporal

 

Medals: Victory Medal, British War Medal, Memorial Death Plaque of WW1 and Military Medal

 

Died in France during WW1 - report says he died from wounds received

 

Looking through diaries and historical accounts the last action the 9th Battalion saw was The Final Advance In Picardy - Battle Of The Selle which started on the 20/10/1918, so possible that he was injured at this time, which is even more tragic as the war ended only a few weeks later on 11/11/1918

 

Location: area of attack between Bazuel and Mazinghien. Allied victory. In a surprise joint night attack in the early morning of 20th October, Third Army formations secured the high ground east of the Selle.

 

Following a two day pause, to bring up heavy artillery, the attack was renewed on 23rd October with a major combined assault by Fourth, Third and First Armies which resulted in further advances and pushed the Germans back to the Sambre Canal. 6th Division returned to the front on the night of 20th-21st October, relieving the 27th American Division and part of the 25th Division on a front from Bazuel to a short way north of Mazinghien.

 

Attacking at 01.20am on the morning of 23rd October, the attack was supported by three sections of 301st American Tank Company doing excellent work in smashing through fences and destroying machine-gun nests. Although due to the fog the infantry lost touch with them.

 

18th Infantry Brigade attacked on the right with 2nd Durham Light Infantry as right flank and 1st West Yorkshire Regiment as left. Delayed for a time by gas shells and the need to clear farms they advanced steadily throughout the day, reaching the Sambre Canal by late afternoon.

 

On the left 71st Infantry Brigade with 9th Norfolk Regiment as left flank and 1st Leicestershire Regiment as right flank, fared less well. Disorganized by the fog and enclosed country they were not able to keep pace with either the artillery barrage or the tanks and made little progress.

 

During the night 71st Infantry Brigade were relieved by 16th Infantry Brigade to resume the attack next morning. Opposition had by this time decreased and the original objectives were taken by mid-morning.

 

At 11.00am on 11th November, when the Armistice came into force, the 6th Division (minus the Divisional Artillery who were covering 32nd Division) had been relieved from the front and were in IX Corps reserve around Bohain-en-Vermandois.

 

 

 

Images

 

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers'  Effects, 1901-1929

 

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