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Information from Clive Wood, 2008
Corporal William Smith

R/7600 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps

Cpl. W. Smith
The Argus Newspaper
Son of Mr James & Mrs Jane Smith
Husband of Mary Elizabeth

Aged 23 years

Died 1st August 1916

Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
Pier & Face 13A & 13B

Born at Rushden, enlisted at Burton-on-Trent.
From the Burnt Records

Born at Rushden, son of James & Jane Smith, with 3 brothers and 4 sisters, William was living at 76 Edward Street, Burton on Trent when he enlisted, aged 21 years 11 months, in November 1914. His wife and child were living at 66 Wilmot Road, Swadlincote, Burton on Trent when his effects were sent to her.

The Rushden Echo Friday 11 August 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier Killed - Corporal W Smith - A Former Co-Operative Employee - A Very Sad Case

Mrs W Smith, daughter-in-law of Mrs J H Smith, of 73 Queen-street, Rushden, has, we regret to say received news that her husband, Cpl W Smith, R7600, of the Machine Gun Section, King's Royal Rifles, was killed in action on August 1st.

The sad news is sent by Cpl R Harrison, who writes under date Aug. 2nd as follows: "As a token of comradeship I write these few lines on account of your husband (Cpl W Smith) being killed in action on the 1st inst. With deepest sympathy from the remainder of his chums and myself."

The Cpl Smith enlisted in Nov. 1914, and after having been instructor at Sheerness for about 14 months was sent to the front in Dec. last year. His military career was most successful, and he made progress practically from the first day he joined, putting his heart and soul into his work. Every examination he entered he passed with distinction, obtaining 97 marks out of a possible 100 in every instance.

At the time of his enlistment he was employed by Burton-on-Trent Co-operative Society in the tailoring department, prior to which he had been employed by the Rushden Co-operative Society from the age of 11 years, and he remained with them until he was 20 years of age.

As a lad he passed through the Rushden Independent Wesleyan Sunday School, and in later years took an active interest in the work of the church, being a teacher in the Sunday School right up to the time to his leaving Rushden.

Additional poignancy is added to the sad news by the fact that the late Corpl Smith was only married last Nov., and his wife only spent two days with him before he went to the front, and she has not seen him since. Much sympathy is felt with his widow, and bereaved parents.

His mother, Mrs J Smith, of 73 Queen-street, Rushden, will be glad of any further information any of his comrades can send her, or news may also be sent to his widow, Mrs W Smith, 66 Wilmott-road, Swadlincote, near Burton on Trent.

Wellingborough News, August 11 1916, transcribed by Clive Wood

Rushden Man killed

We are sorry to learn of the death, in action, of Corpl. W. Smith, son of Mr & Mrs Smith, of 13 Queen-street, Rushden. The deceased soldier was well known and highly respected in Rushden, in his capacity in the outfitting department of the Rushden Co-operative Industrial Society. He joined up at the beginning of the war from Burton, where he was working at the time, being in the K.R.R's Machine Gun Section. He had a very prosperous Army career, being promoted and made gun-instructor in which capacity he acted for 12 months. He went to France in December last, and had seen much severe fighting as No 1 of the gun crew. His parents received letter from his comrades stating that their son fell bravely in action on August 1st. The corporal's death is very sad, considering he leaves a young widow, to whom he was wedded but nine months ago. The deepest sympathy will be felt for the parents and the widow.

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