Alfred Ernest Smith

Alfred Ernest Smith was born between April and June 1893 in Wolstanton to Thomas and Emily Smith. Thomas was born in Newcastle and Emily in Ashbourne. Alfred had 9 brothers and sisters, although five did not survive childhood.

In 1901 the family was living at 83 Gordon Street, Burslem and Thomas’s profession is listed as a tailor. The family had moved to 43 Lily Street, Wolstanton by 1908 as that is Alfred’s address on our list of Scouts. The family were still there according to the 1911 Census and Thomas is employed as a journeyman tailor and Alfred is now a groom. Alfred was employed by the North Staffordshire Railway as a goods porter, probably at Longport. 1 He probably swapped roles as they were quite compatible.

Alfred enlisted in Stoke and was sent to France on 31st July 1915. He served as Private Ernest Smith, 9144 ‘B’ Company11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. While fighting on the Somme, he was wounded when the battalion attacked the German held village of Pozieres, on the main Albert to Bapaume Road on the 15th July 1916. The next day, 16th July, the men were withdrawn to Albert and it is here that he died of wounds received aged 23. 2

Alfred Smith was awarded the 1914 – 15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. He is buried and commemorated at the Albert Communal Cemetery Extension France and commemorated on the Wolstanton Methodist Church Memorial, on the Wolstanton War Memorial and the North Staffordshire Railway Memorial on Stoke Station.

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Alfred Smith’s grave at the Albert Communal Cemetery Extension 3

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Alfred Smith commemorated on the Wolstanton War Memorial

Stoke MemorialAlfred Smith commemorated on the North Staffordshire Railway Memorial on Stoke-on-Trent Station

  1. Gone to War The North Stafford’s Fallen Railwaymen by David J. Woolliscroft and Mike G. Fell
  2. Call to War. The Story of the Men on the Wolstanton War Memorial Who Fell in the First World War by Geoff Mayer
  3. Grave photo courtesy of British War Graves