19836, Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.
Died Of Wounds on the 7th May 1917
William arrived in France on the 27th July 1915.
On the 23rd April 1917 the Battalion were engaged in an attack on the village of La Coulotte during fighting in the Zouave Valley. The Commanding Officer described the attack as “most hazardous” and praised his men for their efforts. As the attack moved forward one company became trapped between two belts of barbed wire, at some places over 15 feet thick, and an enemy communication trench. The CO stated that his men were caught like rats and the Germans made good use of this by bringing heavy rifle and machine gun fire to bear on them.
William Smith had been given the job of running out a wire for a power buzzer, which was an early type of intercom used to keep the supporting troops aware of the situation. He was wounded during this tragic assault and lay out on the battlefield for most of the day before being rescued. After being evacuated for treatment to his wounds, he was moved to a General hospital but died on the 7th May as result of his injuries.
His Commanding Officer had recommended him for an award of the Military Medal but this was never confirmed.
He is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France. (4.B.5.)
Medal Entitlement: 1914/15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal.