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Journal & Guardian 12-4-1918Walter Smith lived at 10 Ashworth Lane, Astley Bridge, Bolton and worked on the local tram line on the Dunscar route as a conductor, he enlisted into the 2/5th Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in May 1915 and was given the number 4719 (this changed to 242218 when the Territorial Force was renumbered in 1917).

He went across to France in February 1917 and his battalion held the line in June that year at Messines. They went over the top on 26th October 1917 at Passchendaele. On 5th February 1918 the 2/5th battalion was converted to a pioneer battalion, and Smith was engaged in a working party repairing trenches and dugouts.

Smith won the Military Medal for two actions on the 12th and 18th March 1918

Excerpt from the Bolton Journal & Guardian 5th July 1918.

“When a working party was shelled by a hostile battery, Smith gallantly tended the wounded. About a week later a battalion billet was heavily shelled, when Smith again tended the wounded under severe continued shelling, and by his gallantry and devotion undoubtedly saved life, setting a fine example to those whose duty it is to care for the wounded”

Pte Smith’s name is shown listed in a supplement to the London Gazette dated 25th April 1918 as being awarded the Military Medal.

The medal was presented to Smith by the Mayor Alderman Knowles Edge at a ceremony at Bolton Town Hall on Friday 28th June 1918 in the presence of family and friends.

Garry Farmer
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