Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
19 Jul 1916
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Cpl Fred Smith, 6289, 2/4th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on July 19th, 1916. He was aged 24 and one of five sons of Thomas George and Sophia Smith, of 73 North Street, Luton, serving with the Colours.
The Rev A. R. Tucker, a Church of England Chaplain, wrote to Mrs Smith to inform her of the death of her son. He wrote: "I have buried him in a cemetery for British troops. A cross will be erected to his memory over the grave."
And, in another letter, Capt R. Whittaker, Royal Berks Regiment, wrote: "We were in the first line, and Cpl Smith was one of the first to advance under a heavy machine gun fire. He was killed almost immediately, and the whole company joins with me in offering you our heartfelt sympathy."
Cpl Smith had served for four years in the Territorials. He was formerly 2717, Bedfordshire Regiment, and is commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour as a lance-corporal serving with the 5th Bedfords.
Prior to enlistment he was employed at the Diamond Foundry, Dallow Road, as a gas stove moulder.
The Smiths' four other sons were Pte Arthur and Pte Albert Smith, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, in France; Pte Walter Smith, who was wounded in action in October 1914 and is now a prisoner of war at Muster in Germany; and L-Cpl Ernest Smith in training at Harrogate with the Bedfordshires.
Pte Albert Smith was to die on the Somme just three days after his brother - on July 22nd, 1916.