Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
11 Feb 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Cpl Edwin Francis 'Teddy' Smart, 233570, 2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), died on February 11th, 1917, from wounds sustained the previous day on a Flanders battlefield. Less than a month earlier he had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for what he had described as "doing something in the field".
In a letter to parents George and Elizabeth Smart, of 75 Leagrave Road, Luton, "his old pal" L-Cpl P. Inskip wrote: "He and some of our other men went out wiring on the night of the 9th, when he was hit with a sniper bullet through the back. We did our best in getting back into the trench, and he was quite conscious when I left him, but about 24 hours afterwards he died in hospital.
"He was buried with several others in a British cemetery with the full service, and a cross marks his grave. He will be very much missed by all the fellows in his platoon, who thought so much of him."
It was only in the previous weekend's Saturday Telegraph that news of Cpl Smart's DCM was published. In a letter to his parents, Cpl Smart wrote: "I am enclosing 'Dis' (Distinguished Conduct) card, which was presented to me by the C.O. for doing something in the field. Just fancy me getting recommended. Three more Beds fellows who were with me got the same. It is worth keeping, but I only ask you one thing...and that is, don't you go showing it to everybody."
Cpl Smart had enlisted at the outbreak of war while only 17 years old and landed in France on August 29th, 1916. An old boy of Old Bedford Road School, he was working at the time at the blockmaking firm of Scott and Smart, Stuart Street.
Edwin's older brother, Pte George Smart, was serving in Egypt. He had gone through the Dardanelles campaign with a machine gun corps.
[Commonweath War Graves records list Edwin Smart as a private.]