Henry Victor Smith (1897–1986)


Royal Engineers 224279

Signalling Service

Courtesy Hilary Welby

Photo of Henry Victor Smith in WW1

Henry was born in 1897 – his father was a respected farmer and building contractor. During the war he served with the signalling service of the Royal Engineers. He arrived home on leave from Germany in 1917 and 1919. After the war his family arranged for the rood screen to be returned and replaced in St Mary’s church, Crich, in honour of the safe return of Henry and his brother Norman. He worked with the family firm after the war, moving to Woodside Farm after his marriage to Edith Robinson in 1927. He then took over the tenancy of Barn Close Farm, Fritchley where he stayed until 1954,  when he moved to Birchwood Farm, Longway Bank.

Rood Screen at St Mary's Church, Crich

Postcard of the Rood Screen in St Mary's Church, Crich

Medal Roll Index Cards
Henry was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

Newspaper reports

Derbyshire Courier , 29 December 1917
A feature of the holiday has been the unusually large number of local soldiers who have been fortunate in securing Christmas leave. The list includes Sgt C. Mason, from Ecclesall (Staffs), convalescent home; Private J W Heathcote, A S C (Mechanical Transport), from France; and driver William Coleman, France – the two latter were over together just a year ago – and Sapper Hy V. Smith in the Signalling Service, R.E., who came from France on Monday, after eight months across the Channel. Driver Jas H Dawes, Driver James Bingham, Lance Corporal W Hallam, Cpl Jas Holmes, and Bugler William Hartshorne have also been over on leave. The latter, who is staying with Mr A Buckley, of Park Head, is attached to the Canadian Forces. Along with his parents he emigrated from Park Head, Crich, to the Dominion before the war, and like his brother, Tom, he enlisted in the Canadians during the earlier stages of the war.

Derbyshire Courier, 28 June 1919
Amongst the Crich soldiers presently on leave are Privates Guy V. Else, son of Mr C.J. Else, Park Lodge, Fritchley and Harry V. Smith, son of Mr J.R. Smith, Roe's Lane, Crich. Both have come from Germany.

Henry Smith's brother Norman Smith is also on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Joseph Roe Smith Head 48 Wheelwright & Farmer Crich
Annie Elizabeth Smith wife 44   Ilkeston
Florence Elizabeth Smith daughter 22 School teacher Crich
George Smith son 21 Wheelwright Crich
Mary Smith daughter 16   Crich
Alice Maud Smith daughter 14   Crich
Joseph Smith son 12   Crich
Elsie Smith daughter 9   Crich
Norman Smith son 7   Crich
Henry Victor Smith son 3   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 31 page 7

1911: Folds Yard, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Joseph Roe Smith Head 58 Farmer Crich
Annie Elizabeth Smith wife 54   Ilkeston
Mary Smith daughter 26 Dairy work Crich
Alice Maud Smith daughter 24 Dressmaker Crich
Joseph Smith son 22 Farmers son Crich
Elsie Smith daughter 18 Farmers daughter Crich
Norman Smith son 17 Joiners apprentice Crich
Henry Victor Smith son 13   Crich
Dora Annie Smith daughter 9   Crich

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1918 Crich voters
Henry Victor Smith, Ashbourne House; absent on military service.