George Parkinson Smith (1887–1917)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 256 & 200017 1/5th Battalion

Photo courtesy Stan Smith
George Parkinson Smith

George was born in 1887 at Preston, the son of James and Jane Smith. His father was a navvy so they travelled around a little before settling in Fritchley. Before he joined the army George worked as a wood sawyer at Dawbarns in Whatstandwell and married Elizabeth Reed of Fritchley 14 June 1913. He was killed in action during an attack on Lens on 1 July 1917 when he was aged twenty-nine. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

Newspaper Report

Derbyshire Courier 11 August 1917

Newspper photo of George Parkinson Smith in WW1

Corpl. G,P, SMITH
Mrs George P. Smith, of Fritchley, received an intimation from the War Office last week hat her husband, Corporal Geo P. Smith, Sherwood Foresters, was reported missing from 1 July. This information is confirmed by the fact that Mrs Smith has had no news from him since that time. Corporal Smith, who was in the Territorials at the outbreak of war, crossed over to France a year ago.Before the war he was employed at Messrs. Dawbarn's joinery works, Whatstandwell

Medal Roll Index Card

His Medal Card shows he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

A Sherwood Foresters' badge was created and placed above the door of the family home at Crich Carr, at the bottom of Shaws Hill.

Foresters plaque above a house door

Like many of the soldiers George sent back home beautifully embroidered cards and postcards. The cards were usually sentimental or amusing.

WW1 postcard from George P Smith
Sent to his wife Elizabeth in 1916
WW1 card from Georhe P Smith
Sent to his wife Elizabeth in 1916
WW1 card from george P Smith
To his son George, sent June 1917.
He was killed 24 days later.

Cards courtesy of Stan Smith.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Initials G P
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Corporal
Regiment/Service Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Unit 1st/5th Bn.
Age 29
Date of Death 01/07/17
Additional Information Son of James and Janie Smith, of Fritchley husband of Elizabeth Julien (formerly Smith née Reed), of Hill Top, Fritchley, Ambergate, Derby
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference Bay 7.

NB George's widow Elizabeth re-married some years after his death and then became Elizabeth Julian (not Juilen as recorded). This record must have been recorded more than a decade after WW1 had finished.

WW1 War Graves Certificate for George P Smith

WW1 certificate for George P Smith
Courtesy of Stan Smith

Soldiers' Effects Book
George Parkinson Smith1/5th Bn Notts & Derby Regt; Acting Cpl 200017; killed 1.7.17 on or since; War Gratuity £14 10s 0d;
1.6.18 widow Elizabeth £7 0s 1d
16.8.18 widow Elizabeth £14 0s 0d benefit child
9.12.19 widow Elizabeth £4 16s 8d
5.2.20 widow Elizabeth £9 13s 4d


1901: Knighton

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
James Smith Head 42 Navvy Huddersfield
Jane Smith wife 32   Blackpool
George Smith son 13   Preston
James Smith son 9 Stone Mason Runcorn

RG13 piece 5181 folio 37 page 22

1911: Fritchley

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Jane Smith wife (married) 40   Blackpool
George Smith son 22 Wood sawyer Runcorn
James Smith son 19 Wood sawyer Preston

RG14PN20983 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED12 SN165

Note that in 1911 the place of birth is incorrect for both George and his brother James. The 1901 census has this correct