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Frederick William Smith

Rank: Corporal

Lifetime: 1889-?

Reference: 1276

Smith

Hope Cottage, Hampton Court, the Smith family home in 1913

Frederick William Smith was the older brother of Private Ernest George Smith who is commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial. More details of the Smith family are given under his entry.

Corporal Frederick William Smith (1276) joined the 8th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment at Hounslow as part of the Territorial Army on 4 April 1908 having already enlisted in some form of Voluntary Battalion at the Hampton Hill Drill Hall on 6 November 1906. For five years after 1908 he attended a camp every summer for two weeks as part of his training for the Territorial Army. As a member of the Territorial Army he was immediately called up on 5 August 1914 at the outbreak of the war with the rank of Private. He was promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal and transferred to the Signal Corp of the Royal Engineers on 11 November 1914 with a subsequent promotion to the rank of Corporal on 26 December 1914.

Corporal Smith’s Burnt Service Record survived the Second World War bombing of the Army’s records store. From his service record it appears that he was 5’8” tall with brown hair and grey eyes. He had been born on 6 November 1889 in Hampton Court. At the time of his enlistment in the Territorial Army he was unmarried and employed as a carpenter by Mr Griffin of Elgin Cottage, Hampton Wick. His next of kin was his mother, J Smith of Hope Cottage, Hampton Court. Her address is also given as Elgin Cottage, Hampton Wick (the address of his employer).

Initially Corporal Smith served at home until 14 January 1915 when he was sent abroad as part of the Expeditionary Force apparently to France. His Service Record states that he was sent to France. However, it is not clear that he served on the Western Front for long after his arrival on 15 January 1915. There is a note on his records that seems to say that he embarked at Marseilles on 24 October 1915 and disembarked at Alexandria on 31 October 1915. Under the terms of his enlistment he could apparently volunteer for one year terms. On 5 March 1916 he notified the Army that he wished to decline to be re-engaged for the period of the war. He was due for a discharge from service on 3 April 1916 and so embarked for England on the “Trafford Hall” on the 8 April 1916 arriving back in England on 22 April 1916. His discharge from service was approved on 4th May 1916 and he was officially discharged from service on 11 May 1916. His address is given as 12 London Road, Hampton.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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