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Smith Gillard, H.W., Pte., 1916
On the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Thiepval, France, is the name of 3/8281 Private Herbert William Smith-Gillard serving with the Suffolk Regiment who died 13/11/1916.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Herbert William Smith-Gillard was born 1895 at Bury St. Edmunds, West Suffolk, the eldest of 2 sons and 2 daughters. His father William Smith Gillard was an upholsterer native of Somerset born 1870 who married Rose Ellen Howard, born 1868 at Southampton, Hampshire, at Bury St Edmunds in 1893. They had moved to the Leeds area by 1897 and settled at Potternewton, West Yorkshire by 1901. At the age of 16 Herbert was employed as a clerk at an electrical engineering works, living alone as a lodger at 5, Horringer Road, Bury St. Edmunds, the property of Mr Henry Offard. He migrated to the north east settling at Gateshead, County Durham, where he married in 1915, Florrie Elizabeth Foulston(e) born March 1st 1894 at Colwick, Nottinghamshire. Their son Leonard William Smith-Gillard was born February 14th 1915 at Heworth, near Gateshead. Herbert was employed by the Cooperative Wholesale Society at the Pelaw Cabinet Works.

Herbert in order to enlist returned to Bury St. Edmunds, joining the Suffolk Regiment in August 1914 as Private 8281 and was assigned to the 3rd Reserve Battalion, a training unit used as the garrison for the defences of Harwich where it remained for the duration of the war. The first reinforcement draft from the 3rd left for France August 26th 1914, however, Private Gillard did not join them at the front until 1916 having also been transferred to the 2nd Battalion, attached to the 76th Brigade, 3rd Division. They initially took part during 1916 in the Actions on the Bluff and Eloi Craters before moving to the Somme for the opening battle, July 1st, at Albert, followed by Bazentin Ridge helping to capture Longueval, the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of the Ancre.

The Battle of Ancre lasted 5 days from November 13th-18th 1916. Battle concluded, at roll-call Private 3/8281 Herbert William Smith-Gillard Suffolk Regiment was missing and later declared to be presumed as dead, “on or since November 13th 1916”. His sacrifice is recorded as one of the 72,246 names of servicemen from the United Kingdom and South Africa inscribed on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Thiepval, France, commemorating those who died on the Somme 1915-1918 and who have no known grave.

His widow received all monies due to him, a pension for herself and their son along with his awards of the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Florrie remarried in 1919 at Basford, a suburb of Nottingham, to William Calladine. They had 2 sons, Francis William 1920 and Kenneth Arthur 1921.

Florrie Elizabeth Calladine-Gillard nee Foulston(e) died at Colchester, Essex aged 77 years in 1971. Son Leonard William Smith-Gillard died April 1st 1986 aged 71 years at Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. Francis William Calladine, whilst on active service serving with the R.A.F. at Gibraltar during WW2 died December 31st 1942 aged 22 years. Kenneth Arthur Calladine died March 10th 1995 at Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex aged 73 years.

In God’s safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Herbert William Smith-Gillard is remembered at Heworth on H92.03, at Pelaw on P24.01 and at Newcastle on NUT046

The CWGC entry for Private Smith-Gillard

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk