George William Smith

george william smithLance Corporal, 9131, 42nd Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, (formerly 17896 Lincolnshire Regiment), killed in action, 22nd August 1918, aged 29

Born at Amcotts in 1889, George was the eldest son of William and Sarah Jane Smith. His father was a farm labourer from Luddington and his mother was from Amcotts. When George died his mother had become Mrs W Spencer of Digby Street, Scunthorpe.

George worked in the ironstone mines prior to enlisting in the Lincolnshire Regiment at Scunthorpe in 1915. He was posted to France in the summer of 1916 and during his period of active service there was wounded twice. The first time in the leg and later in the hand.

By August 1918 George had been transferred to the 42nd Battalion Machine Gun Corps. Formed on 23rd February 1918 the battalion offered machine gun support to the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division. On 21st August 1918 the 42nd Division was in action with IV Corps as they attacked Miraumont during the Third Battle of Albert. From Miramount the advance moved across the River Ancre and onto Bapaume.
During the advance George was working with the communication troops trying to establish communications with the front line when he was killed by shrapnel from an artillery shell that exploded close by him. The local newspaper records this as being in the early morning of 23rd August (hence the inscription on the War Memorial) although other official records give the date as 22nd August.

Originally buried in a battlefield grave close to where he fell following the end of the war his body was recovered and George was re-buried in Queen’s Cemetery, Bucquoy.

Unfortunately for his family the day that George lost his life was the same day that news had reached Scunthorpe of the death of his brother-in-law, Gunner Jesse Oliver, Tank Corps.