The Tank Museum | Recipient

Henry Archibald Smith

Pte. Henry Archibald Smith (Archie)
A Company, 1st Battalion Tank Corps
Killed in Action 8th August 1918 aged 22
Remembered at Bouchoir New British Cemetery

He was the first born of four children to Joseph Henry Smith, a coachman, and Clara Jane Smith (nee Carey), a cook, and born on 16th October 1895 at Finmere in Buckinghamshire.

His siblings were Lilah Christina Smith, born on 26th August 1897 at Farthinghoe, Northamptonshire. Jessie Edith Smith, born on 25th March 1900 at Farthinghoe, Northamptonshire and finally my father Roland Edward Smith, born on 2nd April 1913 at Brackley, Northamptonshire.

The letters donated came from the estate of his eldest sister Lilah who devoted her life to teaching and remained unmarried.

My grandparents moved to Farthinghoe near Brackley, Northamptonshire shortly after Archie was born and remained in this village for the next ten years or so from when they moved to the nearby town of Brackley where my grandfather had found a new job as a drayman for a local brewery.

When Archie left school, he also found employment with the same brewery as a bottler and just before the outbreak of war had been promoted to the dizzy height of foreman.

He joined the Northamptonshire Regiment on 31st August 1914 and progressed through the Machine Gun Corps to the Tank Corps.

When he first joined up he was living with my grandparents in Brackley (37 Bridge Street) Shortly after, my grandparents moved to Newport Pagnell, in Buckinghamshire, where my grandfather had got a job as a chauffeur. For this reason Archie's final home address was shown as 1 Abbey Terrace, Newport Pagnell and his name appears on the Newport Pagnell town war memorial.

My father was just five years old when his brother was killed but he remembered his mother weeping for several days when the death notification came. He was always known to Archie as 'little man'.

I have visited the field of battle myself. I have placed this as in the vicinity of the Canadian memorial near Le Quesnel. His grave is in a group of six graves:

1. Private J Sutherland. 201876 1st Bn Tank Corps
2. Lance Corporal R Afflick 200019 1st Bn Tank Corps
3. Private Henry Archibald Smith 77433 1st Bn Tank Corps
4. Captain F B Keogh M.C. 4th Bn Connaught Rangers. Attd 1st Bn Tank Corps.
5. Sergeant H R Hope 20092 'A' Coy. 1st Bn Tank Corps
6. Private James Brown 92276 1st Bn Tank Corps.

presumably these were all the crew of his tank. He was orderly to the tank commander Captain Keogh.

1914-15 STAR