Did Gunner Herbert Ernest Smith serve in the Boer War?

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Did Gunner Herbert Ernest Smith serve in the Boer War?

Postby TrenchCoat » 13 Sep 2016 09:58

I am seeking assistance in my research on H E Smith.

Although he served with the Royal Filed Artillery in WW1, the 1901 census reveals that he was with the Royal Garrison Artillery at Shoeburyness Barracks; another record suggests he served in South Africa prior to WW1; there are some records (South Africa 1899-1902) on Ancestry which could be my man but it is impossible without more information to make the connection, but perhaps he served in the 2nd Boer War.

It is likely that he was serving in Ireland in 1911 and married Henrietta Gertrude Browne there in 1906. There are references that he was discharged in 1914 but re-enlisted later that year. He died in 1916 in Exeter hospital possibly due to illness brought about by a previous injury/accident; perhaps it was that which brought about the 1914 discharge.

Herbert was born in 1880 in Paignton, Devon to John & Sarah Smith.

My research is in order to honour one of the men listed on our village war memorial, for which I would like to build as complete a picture as possible. In particular, the information I'd like to find are:
- His service with the RGA; including whether he fought in South Africa
- Did those at Shoeburyness Barracks serve in the Boer War and if so in which units (the Ancestry records are for the 65th and 84th Batteries)
- Would moving from RGA to RFA been a logical step
- Further information around his death and the initial cause

If anyone is able to provide even the smallest snippet of information or suggestions of where next to take my research, I'd be most grateful. (Being a community project, sadly I don't have the funds to buy any records)
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Re: Did Gunner Herbert Ernest Smith serve in the Boer War?

Postby huntsman » 13 Sep 2016 17:15

Hi Trenchcoat,

25615 - Gnr. Herbert Ernest Smith did indeed serve in the 2nd. Boer War with 38th Bty. R.F.A. and was awarded a Q.S.A. medal with clasps for Cape Colony and Orange Free State.

He attested at Paignton for short service (7yrs with the Colours and 5yrs on the reserve), aged 18yrs (born circa 1880), occupation groom.
To South Africa 7/11/99, invalided home 1/5/00.
Married in Ireland 30/8/06, Re-engaged for 21yrs Colour service 25/10/09, Promoted Sjt. 29/2/12
8/11/13 He was discharged having been found medically unfit for further Military service (KR. Para 392 xvi), he was 33yrs old, Ht. 5ft 7 1/2" tall, intended residence, Brookfield, Lostleigh, Devon, Conduct was exemplary.

16400 - B.Q.M.S. Smith died aged 37yrs serving with the 7th Reserve Bty. of the 170th Brigade R.F.A. on 22/1/16. Apparently he was kicked by a horse. He is buried in Exeter Higher cemetery, husband of Henrietta G. Smith of Oakbridge, Sidbury, Sidmouth, Devon. He was awarded a Memorial plaque and Scroll for his WW1 service.

Best wishes
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