An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

John Samuel SMITH

No R/6396 Rifleman, 7th (Service) Battalion,
King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

Born 24 March 1897,
Died 18 August 1916, aged 19 years.

Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme,
France, Pier and Face 13A and 13B.

Died during the Battle of the Somme. He is commemorated on this great memorial along with over 72,000 other servicemen who died in this sector of the Front and who have no known grave.

John Samuel Smith was the son of John James Smith and Hattie Annie Smith of 51, Nelson Street, South Bank, although at the time of his death they had moved to Park Road South, Middlesbrough. John’s father was a butcher, and the family later moved to Acklam as their business prospered. John first attended South Bank Council School, and his father then paid for him to attend Coatham Grammar School, for two terms only, from September 1909 to April 1910. John was just 13 years old when he left school to join his father’s business, to learn the trade by working in the family shop. John had two younger sisters, Mary Louise and Irene May, and one younger brother, James Ottoway who, like John, followed into the family business.