Captain Cyril Powell SMITH

Regiment:                                      Durham Light Infantry

Unit:                                                12th Battalion

Service Number:                          n/a

Date of Death:                               17 June 1922 Died of wounds

Age:                                                   23 years

Cemetery / Memorial:              Wellingore Churchyard, Lincolnshire

Grave / Panel Ref.:                    South side of the church

Home Life: 

Cyril was born in Ruskington on 16 July 1896, at All Saints’ Vicarage, Ruskington. His father, Rev. Herbert Powell Smith, had been the incumbent since 1893. Cyril’s mother was Eveleen (née Iliffe) and he had an older brother, Leslie John Powell Smith (born 17 December 1892) [see Footnote below]. Two other children were born and died in Ruskington – Douglas, died 14 August 1895, aged 3 days, and Arthur, 31 March 1899, aged 3 hours.

The 1901 Census (RG 13/3048) shows the family living living at The Rectory, Chapel Street, but by 1911 (Census RG 14/16726) 14 years old Cyril was a boarder at Denstone College, Staffordshire. His father remained vicar at All Saints’, Ruskington, until 1913, when he moved to All Saints’ Church, Wellingore, Lincolnshire.

Cyril’s mother, Eveleen, died on 16 July 1936. The 1939 Register shows his widowed father, Herbert, living in retirement at Andrew’s Farm, Wellingore. He died on 7 November 1947.

Military Service:

Cyril was Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant on 5 November 1914 (London Gazette, 6 November 1914, page 9022). His Medal Index Card shows that he was awarded the Rank of “Hon. Captain” in the 12th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, and was posted to France on 25 August 1915.

On 15 July 1916 ‘The Sleaford Gazette’ reported: “Lieut. Cyril Smith (son of the Rev. H. Powel Smith), is in a London Hospital [Queen Alexandra Military Hospital at Millbank], suffering from a fractured arm and wounds near the elbow.” Cyril was discharged on 23 July 1918 and transferred to hospital ship Empire on 11 December 1917. For this he was awarded a Silver War Badge, No. B45727.

A year later, on 9 June 1917, ‘The Gazette‘ reported Cyril’s promotion to Captain, as follows:

PROMOTION. The many friends of the Rev. H. Powel Smith (formerly Rector of Ruskington and now Vicar of Wellingore) will be pleased to learn that his second son, Lieut. Cyril Smith has recently been gazetted Captain in the Durham Light Infantry. This gallant officer has seen much active service, and some time ago was severely wounded, but he is now again at the front. He has not yet reached manhood’s estate, 18 and is, therefore, all the more deserving of congratulation.

On 3 November 1917 ‘The Gazette‘ reported that Cyril has once again been wounded:

OFFICER SERIOUSLY WOUNDED  Deep regret was felt by all in the village when it became known that Captain Cyril Powell-Smith, Durham Light Infantry, younger son of the late Rector of Ruskington, (now Vicar of Wellingore) had been dangerously wounded in the spine, during the recent operations in Flanders. It will be remembered that the gallant young officer was badly wounded in the arm during the fighting on the Somme in July 1916.

Cyril relinquished his Commission on 19 July 1918, “.. on account of ill health” and was “discharged to disability leave 12th October 1919“. During the War Cyril’s home address was consistently recorded as Wellingore Vicarage, and this was still his ‘home’ address when he died of wounds received on 17 June 1922 in the London Hospital, Whitechapel, London.

Cyril had ‘officially’ retired from the Army on 21 January 1922. The funeral was held on Tuesday, 20 June 1922. He is buried on the south side of the church in All Saints’ Churchyard, Wellingore, and he is commemorated on the War Memorial there. He is also Commemorated on The Denstone College Memorial.

 

Cyril’s brother, Lieutenant Leslie John Powell Smith, also served in the Durham Light Infantry and was posted to France in July 1916.

 

Sources:

  • ‘The Sleaford Gazette’ – 15 July 1916; 9 June 1917; 3 November 1917; 24 June 1922
  • Roll of Honour – Wellingore War Memorial
  • Roll of Honour – Denstone College

 

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