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  Wreaths at the Memorial
   


In Memory of JOHN SMITH MM
Private
13940
7th Bn., Somerset Light Infantry

who died on
Sunday 1 October 1916 . Age 24.

Additional Information:
13940 Private, 7th (Service) Battalion, Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry). 61st Brigade, 20th (Light) Division. Killed in action during the Battle of Le Transloy on Sunday 1st October 1916. Age 24. The son of Alfred and Amy Smith, 5 Keytes Lane, Barford. He was born in Kineton and he enlisted in Leamington Spa. He was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette Friday 27 October 1916) for bravery in the field. He arrived in France on Saturday 24th July 1915. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. He is also commemorated on a Memorial Screen, St. Peter’s Church, Barford. Holder of Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Cemetery:
THIEPVAL MEMORIAL Somme, France Grave or Reference Panel Number: Pier and Face 2 A

Location:
The Thiepval Memorial will be found on the D73, off the main Bapaume to Albert road
(D929). Each year a major ceremony is held at the memorial on 1 July.

The Panel Numbers quoted at the end of each entry relate to the panels dedicated to the Regiment served with. In some instances where a casualty is recorded as attached to an-other Regiment, his name may alternatively appear within their Regimental Panels. Please refer to the on-site Memorial Register Introduction to determine the alternative panel numbers if you do not find the name within the quoted Panels.


Historical Information:
On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Common-wealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure.

In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army re-sisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally cap-tured.

The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east contin-ued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Sonime finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter.

In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector be-fore 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died be-tween July and November 1916.

The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery con-taining equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial.

The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and un-veiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 31 July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.

Regiment, Corps etc.

Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry)

Battalion/etc.

7th Battalion.

Surname

SMITH

Christian Name(s)

John

Born

Kineton, Warwickshire

Enlisted

Leamington

Residence

Barford

Died Date

01/10/16

Rank

PRIVATE

Number

13940

Died How

Killed in action

Theatre of War

France & Flanders

Supplementary notes

M.M.

 

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