Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
28 Mar 1917
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte William Arthur Smith, 13302, 6th Battalion East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), was killed in action on March 28th, 1918. At the time his widow Nellie was making desperate attempts to contact her husband in the hope he could get leave, as his father was dangerously ill. But it was a year later before her husband's death was confirmed.
The last that Nellie had heard from her husband was on March 18th, when he was serving with a machine gun corps in France. A police superintendent also wired to try to get Pte Smith leave, only to be given the news that he was wounded and missing. And tragically, Mr Smith Snr died at his home at 47 Vandyke Road, Leighton Buzzard, on April 12th.
Leighton Buzzard-born William had married Nellie Clare in Luton on July 12th, 1908. The couple had two children - Doris Mabel (born July 1909) and William Albert (August 1914). The family were living at 91 Church Street, Luton.
He had enlist in May 1916, and in March 1917 was seriously wounded in the hip. He returned to England and underwent treatment in hospital at Netley, Epsom and Brighton. He had returned to France on December 3rd, 1917.
Prior to joining up, William had been an employee of hat manufacturers Messrs J. C. Kershaw & Co in Luton for over nine years.