Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 9, 1881
Place of BirthHaddenham, Buckinghamshire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFlorrie Noakes, sister, of Little Beech Farm, Battle, Sussex, England
Trade / CallingDriver
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number418372
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion42nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentMarch 10, 1915
Age at Enlistment33
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal and Bar
Death Details
Date of Death19520907
Age at Death71
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Smith, George

George Smith was born on 9 June 1881 in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, England. His parents were Alfred, born in Haddenham, and Annie, born in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Found in the 1881 England census for Haddenham, Alfred was listed as an agricultural labourer. George had an older sister Florrie who was born in 1879 in Haddenham. During the 1st quarter of 1902 Florrie married David Noakes, marriage registered in the district of Battle in Sussex.

At some point George immigrated to Canada and was living in Montreal, Quebec when he signed his attestation papers on 10 March 1915. His occupation was given as driver and his next of kin as his sister Florrie of Little Beech Farm, Battle, Sussex although at some point during the war she and her husband immigrated to Australia. Previous military experience was listed as 12 years with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (1895-1907). Organized in February of 1915 with recruitment in Montreal, the 42nd Battalion embarked from Montreal on 10 June 1915 aboard the  Hesperian. On board was Corporal George Smith.

Once in England George reverted to the rank of Private that October before embarking for France with the 42nd Battalion on the 9th of October. In late March of 1916 George was admitted to the No 8 Stationary Hospital in Wimereux suffering from a gunshot wound to the nose and conjunctivitis. Early in April he was transferred to the No 5 Convalescent Hospital in Wimereux, discharged to base details on the 10th. Rejoining the unit in early June, George was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 13th, Corporal on the 9th of July, and then Sergeant on the 8th of September. In late October he was granted an eight day leave followed by a ten day leave on 11 January 1917.

Sergeant George Smith was awarded the Military Medal 11 January 1917 and in the following month, on 23 February 1917, he was awarded the bar to his Military Medal.

On 22 April 1917 George was admitted to the No 32 Stationary Hospital in Wimereux suffering a gunshot wound to the foot. He was invalided to England to the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich followed by recuperation at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park, Epsom. Discharged on the 4th of June, George went through a series of transfers in England, spending time at Buxton, Bramshott Camp and Rhyl. On the 24th of December 1918 he was appointed Acting Company Quartermaster Sergeant while stationed with No 4 Wing at Kinmel Park. He served in the UK for another seven months, part of the time with the Canadian Military Police and the Assistant Provost Marshall. By then most of the Canadian troops had returned home and George arrived back in Canada in late November of 1919, disembarking in Halifax on the 30th.

Upon discharge George gave his intended occupation and residence as farmer in Vancouver, British Columbia. At some point he lived in Kenora, Ontario as the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion had two application cards for him. One of the cards gave his residence as the Cecilia Jaffray School, an Indian Residential School in nearby Jaffray and Melick township, while the other gave his residence as River Street in Kenora.

George died on 7 September 1952  in Deer Lodge Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba. His Veteran Death Card listed his friend Sam Mealey of Winnipeg as his next of kin. He was interred in a military plot at Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.

by Judy Stockham


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