Lieutenant Gerald Sydney Smith
Machine Gun Corps(Infantry)
13th November 1916
Born in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, England on 16/12/1893. He was baptised on13/02/1894. His parents were
Frederick Thomas Smith(1851-24/11/1907) and Ada Sophia Pearson(1856-1934).
Gerald had 2 brothers, Frederick John (28/08/1886-1964) and Charles Cyril(13/05/1892-25/09/1915).
He also had a half sister, Ellen Eliza(07/08/1878-1960) from his fathers first marriage to Ellen McGowan(1856-1885)
In the 1901 census, the family were recorded as living at Westernville, Walsall Road, Sutton Coldfield. Frederick snr. was employed as a merchants clerk.
In the 1911 census , following the death of his father, the family were shown to have moved to a new address, 32 Harman Road, Erdington, Birmingham. Gerald was now working and employed as a metal merchants clerk.
I have no date as to when Gerald enlisted, but on 03/04/1915 he was gazetted to be a temporary Second Lieutenant in the Machine Gun Corps(London Gazette issue 28992, page 3252).
Gerald was sent to France on 14/05/1916 and only 6 months later was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Ancre at Beaumont-Hamel, Somme.
He was awarded the 1914 -1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.
His brother Charles also enlisted as Private 988 11th Royal Warwickshire Regiment before being gazetted to a temporary Second Lieutenant on 30/11/1914(London Gazette, issue 28992, page 10195) and joining the 5th battalion Shropshire
Light Infantry. He was killed in action on 25/09/1915. His body was either never recovered or identified, so he has no
known grave. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres , Belgium, Panels 47 and 49.