Pte Archibald (Archie) Smith, 33872, 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, is recorded as having died of wounds in France on July 12th, 1917, at the age of 26. However, Capt Saunders, in charge of his company, wrote in a letter to widowed mother Elizabeth Smith that he had been killed in action by a piece of shrapnel on the evening of July 11th.
Archie Smith had enlisted in the Beds Regiment early in the war and, after training at Newmarket, went to Gallipoli, where he was seriously wounded in the head and shoulder. He also had an attack of dysentery.
He had been employed as a straw hat blocker by hat manufacturer Harold Blaxill, of Wenlock Street. In 1911, parents Archibald and Elizabeth and their ten surviving children were living at 14 Cobden Street, Luton. At the time of Archie's death the by then widowed Elizabeth was living at 7 Gaitskill Row, Luton.
It was perhaps through the Army that Archie met Sussex girl Evelyn Mabel Stemp and the couple were married in Sussex in late 1916. Evelyn remarried in 1919 and continued to live at Haywards Heath, Sussex.