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John Joseph Smith was born in Manchester in around 1879. He was the son of John and Lily Smith, of Bolton.

John enlisted in the Territorial Force on 7th April 1913, joining the 4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment as a Private with the number 1075. John had previously served during the Boer War with the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, completing his terms of service and becoming time expired.

JJSmith-sm

At the time of his enlistment in 1913 he was 34 years old and was living with his wife, Ellen, and three children at 14 Albert Street, Wesham.  The medical officer at Lytham described him as being 5ft 10in tall with a 41.5in chest. He was said to be of ‘very good’ physical development and participated in the winning Tug-of-war team during the annual training camp at Denbigh later in 1913.

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John was appointed Lance Corporal during the pre-war period. Shortly after war broke out he was promoted to Serjeant on 5th August 1914 and signed a declaration which would allow him to serve overseas in the event of a national emergency.

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LCpl J. J. Smith marching with his Battalion. Picture believed to be taken pre-war, location unknown.

On 4th May 1915 John sailed for France with the main body of the 1/4th Battalion.

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Serjeant J.J Smith in the foreground, relaxing with his men

Just forty three days later, on 15th June 1915, Serjeant John Joseph Smith was killed in action whilst attacking a line of trenches near the Rue d’Overt.

15th June 1915
At 18:00 hrs the attack was launched by the 4th Loyal North Lancashire and the 6th Scottish Rifles. The attack was at first successful; the west end of the German salient was carried, and the attack pushed on to the main German line near the Rue d’Overt, and for a time the third German trench was occupied and held. Unfortunately the attack by the Division on the right of the 51st made little or no progress, and when night fell the 154th Brigade had penetrated the German line on a narrow front, but had both its flanks in the air. The attack consequently failed, but as stated in the Divisional History, “great praise is due to the 154th Infantry Brigade for their advance in the face of heavy artillery and close range rifle and machine gun fire. There is little doubt that had the operations on the flanks been successful, they would have had every prospect of holding their gains.

The following article appeared in the Preston Guardian shortly after;

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Serjeant John Joseph Smith  is remembered with honour on the Le Touret Memorial.

Rank: Serjeant
Service No: 1075
Date of Death: 15/06/1915
Age: 36
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

Ellen, who had moved to 16 Catherine Street, later took receipt of her late-husband’s 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. She would also have received the memorial plaque and scroll in recognition of his sacrifice.

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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One Response to 1075 SJT. J. J. SMITH. L.N.LAN.R

  1. john melling says:

    Good to see more information being found , especially with the above picture featuring my relation Richard Isles(pictured)and his pals inc PTE. J. J. SMITH from the picture and the Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

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