Stanstead Abbotts

Local History Society

Edward Thomas SMITH

Gunner 134642

98th Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery

Died 30th October 1918 aged 37

Born in 1881, in Stanstead Abbotts, son of Henry and Charlotte, he had three brothers Harry, Charles (who also fought and fell, see his page), and Fred and in 1891 they were living in the Rose and Crown Public House, where it shows that his father was employed as a waterman.  In 1901 they were living in Riverside Cottages, High Street and his father was now employed as a general labourer, as was Edward.  In 1911 he was living at 6 Riverside Cottages with his now widowed father, along with his brother Charles and his wife Emma.  His father was now employed as a maltster’s labourer whilst Edward was employed as a steam packing labourer.

Edward enlisted on 13th December 1916, aged 35, and was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery, the Regiment that handles the heavy artillery and usually operated far behind the lines, where he served with 98th Brigade.  The battery was formed at Aldershot in January 1917 and left for France on 5th March 1917 sailing to Le Havre.  His unit was then moved to Carency on 22nd March 1917 and were in action in support of attacks on Givency and Vimy. Following this they had moved along the front and had taken part in the 3rdBattle of Ypres and the assault in Messines Ridge.

Prior to his death Edwards’s unit had been supporting attacks of Brancourt following a few peaceful days in reserve.

He may have died of illness as his records do not show him having been killed in action or died of wounds, it is possible that it may have been pneumonia as there had been a number of sufferers in his unit.

He is buried in Premont British cemetery between Cambrai and St Quentin.

Medals Awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal