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William Henry Smith was born in 1884 in Coppull near Chorley. His parents were Thomas and Catherine.

William married Eliza Lucas in Chorley in the third quarter of 1904.

In 1911, William and Eliza were living at 45 Back Steeley Lane Chorley. His father, Thomas lived with them following the death of Williams mother, as did Williams two sisters Annie and Jane. William and Eliza had three daughters, Edith (b. 1905), Alice (b. 1906) and Lily (b. 1909). Eight people living in a five roomed house.

In 1912 another daughter Maggie was born and a year later in 1913 a son they named William Henry like his father.

William was employed as a coal miner at Chorley Colliery, while his wife worked in a cotton mill.

At some point during the following six years they moved to 142, Duke Street, Chorley.

Soon after war was declared in August 1914 William enlisted Army, joining the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Following a period of training in the UK, he sailed to France with them on 31st July 1915.

On 28th May 1917, Lance Corporal William Henry Smith was reported to have been killed in action. They had been occupying the right sub-sector in front of GUEMAPPE for the last four days.

The battalion war diary indicates that he was probably killed by enemy shell-fire.

28th May 1917 – GUEMAPPE

Fairly quiet until 23:00hrs when our line was heavily shelled. Captain Macnamara was wounded, also Second Lieutenant R.E.A Way.


The following article was featured in the local newspaper reporting his death;



The newspaper article reports that William was recommended to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), I can find no evidence that the recommendation was approved.

Lance Corporal William Henry Smith is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 12703
Date of Death:  28/05/1917
Age: 34
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th. Bn.


Paul McCormick
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