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