Wetherby War Memorial - The Great War 1914 - 1918

Rifleman William Wheelhouse Smith

Gunter, R B N
Durrant, C M
Weston, C G
Kelly, K G
Armitage, G J
Durrant, H M L
Hargreaves, J P
March, G
Dukes, W
Fowler, R
Westerman, H
Kirk, J C
Wiggins, T A
Telford, G
Harper, J W
Alexander, H W
Mason, T F
Wilkinson, W
Brown, C
Adkin, J
Barton, F
Hobman, A
Webster, A E
March, E A
Miller, G
Hannan, E
Utley, G
Walker, F
Bygrave, E W
Chapman, E
Varley, N W
Bowen, F J
Byrom, F
Backhouse, S
Dalby, M
Crossland, A
Crossley, J S
Dean, R
Frost, A E
Hodgson, F H
Holt, J
Hood, W H
Hill, W
Kitchen, T
Linfoot, E
Metcalfe, J C
Marsden, J
Pawson, W
Precious, G
Scutt, T G
Wiggins, J
Walker, E
Wood, A
Young, T
Pratt, W
Taylor, H
Dawson, G W
Lister, J
Binge, T
Atack, G
Durham, E F
Precious, G R
Wheelhouse Smith, W
Backhouse, H
Swann, J W
Burnsides, G A
Coles, W
Kelly, H W
Miles, J G
Tapsell, K

18th (Service)Battalion (Arts and Crafts), Kings Royal Rifle Corp
Died 9th October 1916, age 23

Cemetery : Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
Grave Reference or Panel Number : Pier and Face 13A and 13B

Son of the late William Smith and Elizabeth Mary Smith, of Linton Hill Farm, Linton, near Wetherby.

William was born at Linton in 1893 to parents, William, a Farmer, and Elizabeth Mary Smith and he enlisted in Wetherby.

The battalion were attached to the 41st Division, 122nd Brigade.  Killed in action at the battle of Le Transloy Ridges, Somme, which lasted from 7th to 18th October.

The following is taken from 'British Battalions on the Somme', by Ray Westlake :

"The battalion was involved in the attack on 'Gird Trench' on the 7th October. Following this action, the battalion withdrew to 'Flers Trench' on the 9th, and to 'Carlton Trench' on the 10th of the month."

S.D.G.W. indicates that the battalion suffered two O/R casualties on the 9th October. The other O/R was a Rifleman, John Mansley, a native of Woodbank, Cheshire, who Died Of Wounds and is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, a location occupied by three Casualty Clearing Stations. It is possible though that Mansley succoumbed to wounds incurred in the attack on the 7th and that William was just a victim of enemy shell-fire.

Educated at Leeds Grammar School, the 'Leodiensian', a periodical published by the school has the following entry;

'December, 1916.

William Wheelhouse Smith, the son of Mr. W. Smith, Linton Hills, Wetherby, entered the School in 1905 and left in 1911. He worked on his father's farm until he enlisted in the summer in the 24th K.R.R. He was killed in action on October 7th, while trying to rescue a wounded comrade.'

William is also commemorated on his parents grave with the inscription also remembering this act of bravery as well as giving the details that he was 'buried on the battlefield near Flers'.