SMITH Henry Silas
Regiment : Royal Horse Artillery
Service number : 246209
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 16th February 1918 aged 20
Buried : Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire, England, Grave N. 81.
Relatives : Son of John and Mary Ann Smith, of Newlands, Pershore
Memorial : Pershore Abbey
Also appears on : Pershore C of E School now in Pershore Working Men's Club. Pershore Cemetery.
Additional information on the memorial: Royal Artillery
Newlands. Royal Horse Artillery. Son of Jack Smith. Wounded and working at Woolwich by a German Bomb dropped there. Died February 16th 1918.
Additional information from Pershore Parish Records, Holy Cross, Film No 216/7, available at Worcestershire Archives.
Driver Henry Silas Smith, age 20 of Newlands, Pershore, serving with the Royal Horse Artillery was buried in consecrated ground in Pershore Cemetery on 23rd February 1918.
Register of Burials in War Graves in Pershore Cemetery courtesy of Pershore Town Council.
The following information has been researched by Brian Hill:
Harry Silas Smith, formerly T/4/060772 Driver, Army Service Corps, was born and enlisted in Worcester. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a market gardener.
The Evesham Journal of 2nd March 1918 states that an inquest was held in London, and it found that Harry Smith was making his way back to barracks when an air raid was in progress and he stopped to make a purchase at a fruiterer’s shop, (in Woolwich) when a bomb fell and buried him and a soldier companion beneath the debris. He hd served in Egypt and Salonika and was on a ship which was torpedoed after leaving Salonika, being rescued after six hours in the water. Following a period in hospital he had a short furlough in Pershore.
This air raid was carried out by “Giant” (Zeppelin Staaken R) bombers. Giant R12 met the defence balloon barrage and a wing caught a dangling cable. In violently falling 1000 feet before regaining control, two 300kg bombs shook free, landing in Woolwich at 10.20pm. One exploded in Artillery Place, demolishing a greengrocer’s home and shop at No 50a, killing fve people including Harry Smith.
A photograph of Gunner H. Smith of Pershore can be found in Berrow’s Worcester Journal Supplement, Saturday 16th March 1918, available at Worcestershire Archives.
Trudy Burge has created the WW1 Pershore website to commemorate the men from Pershore who served their country from 1914 to 1918: http://pershoreww1.webs.com/