Category Archives: Loos

Albert William Smith & Edwin George Smith

Albert W. Smith
Sergeant 9th Siege Battalion
Royal Garrison Artillery.

 Division 34

Smith AW & EG and bros phot

Both Albert and Edwin are commemorated in the Reading Cemetery on the grave of their  parents George and Matilda Smith. The grave is marked by a small opened book. The 1901 census records indicate the names of the brothers as Edwin, Albert, Sidney and Charles. There are two younger brothers also named Ernest and Reginald. George Smith and Edwin were listed as farm labourers. It has not been possible to find information after 1901.

Smith AW photo

Albert W. Smith, known as Bert and “Fatty” died of wounds on 17th July 1917, after nine years of service, aged 27.  He was the second son of George and Matilda Smith.

 Bert died ten days after his return to France from leave.  (It was actually Belgium and he received wounds during a time which the British carried out some successful raids in the Ypres sector, two weeks prior to the Third Battle of Ypres)

He is buried at La Clytte Military Cemetery, Belgium. Location II. F. 18.

 The family remembered the anniversary of his death –

In memoriam Std. July 19th 1919- Smith – “In loving memory of my dear brother….

In a soldier’s grave in a foreign land
Lies a brother true and kind,
We little thought when we said goodbye
‘Twas our last parting-you were to die.
Though the blow was cruel, we miss you still,
In grief we must bend to God’s will.

His loving sister, Nancy, 4. Laurel Cottage, Basingstoke Rd. Whitley, Berks.

Edwin George Smith
Private 15512
 8th  Battalion. Royal Berkshire Regiment 

Edwin George Smith, is commemorated on the Loos Memorial to the Missing Panels 93 -95. He died on the 25th September 1915, the first day of the Battle of Loos.  He was the eldest of the four Smith brothers.  

Standard January 10th 1920

In proud memory ….
Till the morning breaks and the shadows flee away. RIP  
From their ever loving Mother and sisters and brothers.

also from sister Nancy – Edwin George Smith and Albert William Smith

They too loved life, but loving, dared not stay,
Lest those they loved should pay the price,
Sunshine and youth and laughter, all they gave in sacrifice.

Sydney Edward Sawyers

Sydney Edward O. Sawyers
Private 16640
8th Royal Berkshire Regiment 


Sawyer SE photo

Sydney Edward O. Sawyers  was the son of John and Mary Anne Sawyers who were living at 17, ElmLodgeAvenue, Reading at the time of the 1911 census. John Sawyers is recorded as an army pensioner and bank porter. Sydney is recorded as a railway clerk and younger brother Leonard a tramway conductor, Gertrude at 13 years was still at school. Sydney is commemorated on the grave of his sister Gertrude.  The grave monument is badly damaged, the grave number is 15870; the Berkshire Family History Society classification is 67C11.

 Sydney lost his life on 25th September 1915, the first day of the Battle of Loos.  He is buried in the Dud Corner Cemetery, location VI.E.14.  The walls of this cemetery form the massive Loos Memorial to the Missing.

Ronald Stuart Salmon

Ronald Stuart Salmon
Rifleman 3061
1st/21st (First Surrey Rifles) London Regt.


Salmon RS photo  CIMG2140CIMG2139

Ronald Stuart Salmon was the son of Mr Edward Henry and Mrs Annie Salmon, of Castle Hill, Reading. He is commemorated on the family grave, number 8459, on a small scroll stone.  The 1911 census indicates that the family were living at 14, Bulmershe Road, Reading. The family comprised Ronald’s mother who  was a widow and head of the family, Hilda his older sister and younger brother Cyril. Ronald’s occupation is given as a publishing clerk. His mother is recorded as having given birth the twelve children, seven of whom were still living.  In 1901 the family were living at 109, Castle Street from where Edward Salmon ran his butchers business. At that time the family comprised six children, Cyril was then four months old, his mother was 44 years old and she had a mothers help and a servant to assist her in running the home.

 Ronald Salmon was killed at Givenchy whilst helping wounded comrades on 25th May 1915. 

A Letter from his Commanding Officer to Ronald’s mother is reported in the Reading Standard of June 12th 1915. “My company was taking part in an attack on a German position –– Your son was, when I last saw him, devotedly attending to some of his wounded comrades, several of whom he brought to safety, and he met a noble death whilst actually engaged in the work of rescue.  He is much missed by B Company, all ranks of which unite in offering you our sympathy in your loss”.

The report continues “The letter speaks for itself and shows that the qualities of manliness, courage and self-sacrifice inborn in the British soldier were possessed in large measure by Rifleman Salmon”. 

Roland Salmon was an old scholar of Reading School, and after finishing his education was in the office of Mr Blake Allnatt, chartered accountant of Reading.  Salmon had worked for three years in the Barclays Bank in Wycombe.  He enlisted on September 3rd 1914 in the Surrey Rifles and was drafted to the front on March 15th 1915.  Ronald Salmon had a, not untypically, short time in active service.  His Division 47th (2nd London) fought their first battle, the Battle of Aubers,  9 May 1915, which included an attack on Fromelles and the Rue du Bois.  Ronald was  killed on the closing day of the next battle, the Battle of Festubert which had opened on May 15th.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the La Touret Memorial to the Missing, panel 45. He was aged 21.