Category Archives: Countries

H.G.L. Smith & E.J. Smith

Company Sergeant Major 193
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Division)

 Division 79 Extension

Slope Smith photo Slope Smith grave

H.G.L. Smith was known as Slope and this name is inscribed on the headstone of his registered war grave.  The distinctive memorial bears a cross and an angel.  Grave number 16062.  He died on 2nd  February 1915.

 Slope’s funeral was the first military funeral in the Reading Borough and was unusual because he died of wounds in France and his body was brought back to this country as a result of his sisters endeavours.  Shortly after it was decreed that British service men would be buried in the country where they died.

 Slope Smith a native of Reading was living in Canada at the outbreak of war and came to England with the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry.   The P.P.C.L..I. were  not part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, in spite of its name, but part of 27th Division British Army.  The were a unique force raised by Hamilton Gault a Montreal business man.Slope Smith already had an impressive army record having served in the South African War with the Royal Horse Guards  and at one time with the 12th Lancers.  After the South African  war served as a native commissioner in NW Rhodesia.

 The Reading Chronicle on the 5th February 1915 published  an article about Slope and his wounding on the 25th January  The article included a letter to his sister.  By the time the paper was publish Slope Smith had already died although the editor did not know that fact  his wounding and rather critical state were commented upon.  The following week, 12th February the Chronicle gave details of his death and funeral. 


E.J. Smith
Staff Serjeant  

EJSmith photo EJSmith grave

E.J. Smith was the brother of Slope Smith, he is buried in his brother’s grave, the inscription giving his details states:

 “Died from the effects of the War”

He died on the 27th March 1923 aged 42 years.  His death occurred too late for him to be counted as an official  war casualty with his name registered by the CWGC. 

 It is known that he joined the army voluntarily but not the  regiment to which he belonged.  It is possible that his first name was Edmund. 

Henry Leonard Smith & Percival Harold Smith

Henry Leonard Smith
Private 425336 31st Battalion Alberta Regt.
Canadian Expeditionary Force

 Division 76

Smith HL photo

Henry Leonard Smith was the eldest son of  a Mr  Henry and Mrs Mary Ann Smith, of 19, Southampton Street, Reading.  Henry worked with his father in the family butchers shop. Henry had six other siblings who were of school age in 1911. He is commemorated on a family grave, number 16365.  Henry was wounded in Ypres according to the caption with his photograph, probably in 1915. 

 Henry Leonard Smith was finally killed in action, aged 21, on the 15th September 1916. This day marked the begging of the  3rd Phase of the Somme battle.  There was a massive allied advance along a six mile front and tanks were used for the first time.  The CEF followed the tanks into battle along the left hand of the front between Flers and Courcelette.   Although the Canadian infantry moved more quickly than the slowly moving tanks and soon overtook them, the fact that tanks were there enabled the Canadians not only to capture Courcelette but also many German prisoners who gave themselves up when they saw the lumbering iron monsters.   The battle raged throughout the rest of September and October, finally coming to an end on the 18th November 1916.

 Henry Leonard Smith is buried in the Courcelette British Cemetery. Location II.B.6.

Percival Harold Smith

who died 10th November 1918, aged 20, is commemorated on grave 16365 but no further details have been found.  A CWGC trace has not revealed any information via the Internet dure to the large number of “Smith’s” killed during the war.

Leonard Smith, Cecil Trice Smith, Cornelius Smith & Archibald Smith

Division 74 Extension

Smith bros Leo Corn Cecil A

Leonard, Cornelius and Cecil Trice Smith were the sons of  Albert and Alice Smith of 42, De Beauvior Road, Reading.  They are named on the headstone of their parents grave. Grave number 17619.   Archibald Smith, who is pictured with Leonard and Cecil is assumed to be another son and to have survived the war. The 1901 census indicates that the family were living in South Western Cottages, Basingstoke and that Albert was a train carriage examiner and son Archibald, then 14, was a boiler riveter. Cecil, the oldest at 16wasnot recorded as having an occupation. Cornelius was aged 10 and Leonard was 4 years old. They had two sisters Dorcus aged 6 and Alice 2 months. 

 Leonard Smith
Rifleman R/12278
1st Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps

 He was reported missing on 27th July 1916, and was reported to have died on or after that date.  He was 19 years old.  His is named on the family grave along with his brothers.

Leonard Smith is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, the Somme,  Pier and Face 13A & 13B.

 Cecil Trice Smith
Sergeant 132088
73rd Battalion Canadian Infantry (Quebec)

Smith CT grave

Cecil Trice Smith was married to E. M. Smith of 21 Linwood Terrace, Abingdon.  He was killed in action on 9th April 1917 and is buried in Zouave Valley Cemetery, Souchez, location I.G.1.

The Battle of Arras began on the 9th April.  The Canadians took Vimy Ridge in a well rehearsed battle which involved the use of underground tunnels to move masses of troops unseen and close to the German trenches.  Cecil Smith was killed during this action but where exactly is not clear.  He is buried in Plot I of the cemetery which was made after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from a wide area around Souchez.

Cornelius Smith
Lance Corporal WR/263564 29th Broad Gauge Company
Royal Engineers 

Smith Cornelius grave

Cornelius Smith was killed an air raid on Boulogne on 1st August 1918.  He is buried in Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille Plot II. A. 7.

 Archibald Smith
Canadian Expeditionary Force

 Archibald Smith is the brother of Leonard and Cecil Trice Smith.  He appears on the photograph accompanying this biography.  However, it has not been possible to find information about him when carrying out a CWGC search.  It has been assumed by the author that Archibald Smith survived the war and his brothers, Archibald’s name does not appear on the family headstone.