Lance Corporal John Smith, 280626, served in the 1st/7th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. He died from his wounds 101 years ago today on 21st April 1917, aged just 26. He’s buried at the Etreat Churchyard Extension in France and he’s also remembered on the St Mark’s War Memorial. The memorial can be seen in the grounds of the Salvation Army Citadel which was built on the site of St Mark’s Church.
John and his wife Annie (nee Rimmer) lived at 47 Trinity Street, Bury near to where Annie had grown up. They had 2 children, James born in 1912 and John in 1914.
Annie and John married at Holy Trinity Church in Bury on October 7th 1911. According to the census taken earlier that year John was a Piecer Mule at a local cotton mill, which was a tough job. He’d grown up in Portland Street, Chesham which was very close to the old St Mark’s Church.
John’s younger sister, Esther, later became the proprietor of the Star Inn. This was nearby on Bridge Street. Just like St Mark’s and the house on Portland Street, the Star Inn is no longer with us.
His brother James, was too small to join the regular Army. He would have been 15 at the outbreak of war and joined up as a bandsman. He survived the war and became a window cleaner on leaving the Army.
Can you help?
This information comes to us from Nick Young, great nephew to John Smith. He had seen the other World War I memorials on our website and got in touch with us. Nick’s grandma Matilda was sister to John. She married Robert Cunliffe at St Mark’s Church in February 1914.
Nick got his information some 12 years ago from Jack Smith, born in 1938, who was great grandson of John. Jack lived on Hazel Street and had an older sister called Marjorie. Nick has lost touch with that side of the family now – so if anyone has contact details then please help us put the two together! Either leave us a comment below or use our contact page.