A very poignant letter from the mother of 203156 Pte Herbert Henry Smith of Mansfield…..

A very poignant letter from the mother of Herbert Henry Smith from Mansfield to the War Office and received on the 11 February 1918

“Dear Sir, I would thank you very much if you could kindly forward to me any belongings of my son, Pte HH Smith of the 1st Batt Sherwood Foresters……..he died through wounds received in action on his was way down to the main dressing station on November 20 1917”

Register of Soldiers effects

The Infantry Records Department of No. 6 District (Lichfield) were not instructed to dispatch Hebert’s belongings to Sarah (his mother) until 15th March 1918 and she finally received them around 25th March.

Army Effects Form – 118A
Army Form B. 104 – 126
Herbert’s Grave

Herbert is buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery and Commemorated on St Lawrence the Martyr Roll of Honour.

Roll of Honour
Pension Record

Sarah Jane Smith received a pension for the loss of her son.

Herbert’s Service with the Sherwood Foresters

Herbert was called up for Service on the 16th November 1916 and posted to the 5th Reserve Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters two days later. Following training in Saltfleet he embarked for France on the 4th October 1917 and arrived at the 14th Infantry Base Depot. He was posted to the 1st Battalion and joined them ‘in the field’ on the 18th October.

At the time of his death the 1st Battalion were holding the front line trenches near to Bellevue and were being heavily shelled. During the month of November the 1st Battalion lost 2 Officers and 21 other ranks killed, 63 other ranks wounded.

War Diary for entry for November 1917
1st Battalion casualties for November 1917 and the commutative total to date

2 thoughts on “A very poignant letter from the mother of 203156 Pte Herbert Henry Smith of Mansfield…..

  1. Paul Nicholson

    The Robinsons on that plaque might be my grandmothers brothers. One was MIA in 1916 the other died of wounds in 1918 leaving a wife and child born after he died.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s