Herbert Smith was born on 20th October 1896 at Gunners Clough, an area of Barnton, near Northwich. He was the son of John Smith, who was born at Thornton Hough on Wirral and Charlotte (nee Moss) who was born at Winsford. Herbert’s father was a domestic coachman.
The Census of 1901 recorded Herbert as living with his maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Hannah Moss (and three of their own children) at 58, Lydyett Lane in Barnton. At the time Herbert’s father was working as a domestic groom at Ashfield Hall at Neston on Wirral, but the whereabouts of his mother Charlotte are unknown.
By 1911 Herbert was living at The Lodge at Aston Hall, Aston-by-Sutton. He was employed in a gentleman’s service and his father was working as a domestic coachman. John Smith stated that he was married, but Charlotte was not recorded as being with the family.
Herbert enlisted in the Great War on 9th September 1915 at Great Yarmouth. At the time his address was given as The Lodge, Aston Hall, Preston Brook. He was almost 19 years old and was 5’9’’ tall. He was employed as a dog trainer. He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery with the rank of gunner and was given the service number 54768. A year later he was posted to service and eventually embarked for France from Southampton on 30th March 1916. He arrived at Le Havre a day later.
It is not clear where he served during the next nine months. In December 1916 he was admitted to a field hospital for a few days and then discharged. He was similarly admitted and discharged the following month.
He was allowed ten days leave in July 1917 and in late March 1918. He was re-admitted to a field hospital in August 1918 with dysentery. By 18th August 1918 he was invalided back to England from a hospital in St Denis, still suffering from dysentery. He did not return to the war in Europe.
It is not known when Herbert’s parents died.
A Herbert Smith with the correct date of birth in 1896 appeared on the 1939 Register as a single man working and living at Dairy Farm, Sedgwick, Westmorland. He was a general labourer and private gardener.
Herbert Smith died in Kendal in Westmorland in 1976 aged 79 years.