Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Cyril Joseph Smith 1898-1917

Cyril Joseph Smith (photo from Janice Fox)
Born: Cagthorpe, Horncastle, Lincolnshire in 1898
Son of:
Daniel Burling Smith b.1854 Needlingworth, Huntingdonshire d.1927
1911: Gardener (Domestic) Common Lane, Royston, Yorks
married (1) at York in 1883 to Julia Roux d.1893

married (2) at Lincoln in 1894 to
Annie Raynor b.1871 Mexborough, Yorkshire d.1924 

Position in family: 
Eighth of eleven brothers and sisters including half siblings from his father’s first marriage.
1. Marrie Smith b.1885

2. George Smith b.1886
3. Lillian Smith b.1889

4. Annie Smith b.1890
5. Eric Raynor Smith b.1893  WW1 SERVED Royal Navy & Royal Air Force
6. Claude B Smith b.1895
7. Lionel G Smith b.1897
8. Cyril Joseph Smith b.1898  WW1 KILLED
9. Gladys I M Smith b.1900
10. Noel H Smith b. 1902
11. Audrey I N Smith b.1904

Home address, age and occupation:
27 Prospect Street, Horncastle, Lincolnshire aged 2
1911: Common Lane, Royston aged 12

Marriage: He was unmarried

Military Service:
Enlisted: 22 December 1916 at the age of 18 years

Regiment and Battalion: York and Lancaster Regiment
Service number and rank: 39235
Regiment and Battalion:    Manchester Regiment 2nd/7th Battalion

Service number and rank:  42837 Private
Served in France from: 5 June 1917
Awards: Victory Medal, British War Medal

Death:     8 October 1917 aged 19
CWGC Remembered: Tyne Cot Memorial

Royston War Memorial

Lives of the First World War
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Information in this post has mainly been sent to us from Janice Fox (nee Smith). Cyril was her great uncle.  Janice has a website remembering the men
who served in WW1 from the village of Saxlingham in Norfolk, where she now lives. It can be found here.  The following is additional information she has supplied.


By 1910 the family were living in Common Lane Royston. Daniel worked as a gardener for the Yardley family, who lived at The Grove, Station Road, Royston. This is where the community centre is now situated.  Cyril went to school in Royston and worked at Messrs. Pickles, Clothiers, in Wakefield.

(Based on the 7th Battalion Manchester Regiment war diaries)
On 6 October the Manchester Regiment were sent to the front lines east of Ypres in Zonnebeke-Staden. Throughout that day the lines were heavily shelled. At 5pm on 7 October their headquarters were blown up by the Germans. The 7th Battalion then attacked the German lines resulting in a heavy loss of men. The situation was made worse by a shortage of rations and water. The weather was described as being bad. Cyril was killed on 8th October 1917 during this fighting.

He was originally buried north of Zonnebeke but at the end of the war his grave could not be found. His name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke Ieper.

There is an entry for Cyril Joseph Smith in the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914- 1919. 

There is also a photograph of him alongside the entry.  The family provided some of the information for the entry. It reads as follows:-

Smith, Cyril Joseph, Private, No. 42837, 7th (Territorial), Battn. The Manchester Regt., s. of Daniel Burling Smith, of Common Lane, Royston, co. York, Gardener, by his wife, Annie, dau. Of George Raynor; b. Cagthorpe, Horncastle, co. Lincoln; educ. Royston aforesaid; was employed by Messrs. Pickles, Clothiers, Wakefield; enlisted 22 Dec. 1916; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 5 June 1917, and was killed in action at Passchendaele Ridge 8 Oct. following. Buried north of Zonnebeke, north- east of Ypres. An officer wrote:” I was on leave at the time, or I should have written to you before to express not only my sympathy to you , but the respect and admiration I felt for your son. He has won the respect of us all, and we have lost a gallant soldier. My brother was killed two days ago. This will tell you that my sympathy is real, however much my words fail to express it. I feel proud of every man in my company, and your son was worthy of it” and another: “Your son has not been with us a long time, but I soon realized what a sound and reliable soldier he was, and made him my platoon runner and had marked him for promotion.”  Unm

Cyril Joseph Smith (photo from Janice Fox)

His father received his effects which amounted to his back pay in September 1919. An entry can be seen in UK, Army Registers of Soldiers Effects, 1901-1929.

Members of his family continued to live in the same house in Common Lane until the 1970s, although my grandfather, Claude Burling Smith died in 1953.

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