Cyril Joseph Smith by his great niece Janice Fox

Cyril Joseph Smith by his great niece Janice Fox

1898 - 1970

Cyril Smith is remembered on the war memorial in Royston, Yorkshire. He was born in Cagthorpe, Horncastle, Lincolnshire in 1898. He was the son of Daniel Burling Smith and Annie Raynor. Cyril had six brothers and sisters. He also had four half siblings from his father’s first marriage. By 1910 the family were living in Common Lane Royston. Daniel worked as a gardener for the Yardley family, who lived at The Grove, Station Road, Royston. This is where the community centre is now situated. Cyril went to school in Royston and worked at Messrs. Pickles, Clothiers, in Wakefield. He enlisted in the West Yorkshire regiment on 22 December 1916 but later transferred to 7th Battalion Manchester Regiment. He served in France from 5th June 1917. On 6 October the Manchester Regiment were sent to the front lines east of Ypres in Zonnebeke-Staden. Throughout that day the lines were heavily shelled. At 5pm on 7 October their headquarters were blown up by the Germans. The 7th Battalion then attacked the German lines resulting in a heavy loss of men. The situation was made worse by a shortage of rations and water. The weather was described as being bad. Cyril was killed on 8th October 1917 during this fighting. (The above paragraph is my interpretation of entries in the 7th Battalion Manchester Regiment war diaries) He was originally buried north of Zonnebeke but at the end of the war his grave could not be found. His name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke Ieper. There is an entry for Cyril Joseph Smith in the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914- 1919. The family provided some of the information for the entry. It reads as follows:- Smith, Cyril Joseph, Private, No. 42837, 7th (Territorial), Battn. The Manchester Regt., s. of Daniel Burling Smith, of Common Lane, Royston, co. York, Gardener, by his wife, Annie, dau. Of George Raynor; b. Cagthorpe, Horncastle, co. Lincoln; educ. Royston aforesaid; was employed by Messrs. Pickles, Clothiers, Wakefield; enlisted 22 Dec. 1916; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 5 June 1917, and was killed in action at Passchendaele Ridge 8 Oct. following. Buried north of Zonnebeke, north- east of Ypres. An officer wrote:” I was on leave at the time, or I should have written to you before to express not only my sympathy to you , but the respect and admiration I felt for your son. He has won the respect of us all, and we have lost a gallant soldier. My brother was killed two days ago. This will tell you that my sympathy is real, however much my words fail to express it. I feel proud of every man in my company, and your son was worthy of it” and another: “Your son has not been with us a long time, but I soon realized what a sound and reliable soldier he was, and made him my platoon runner and had marked him for promotion.” Unm There is also a photograph of him alongside the entry. His father received his effects which amounted to his back pay in September 1919. An entry can be seen in UK, Army Registers of Soldiers Effects, 1901-1929. In 1901 Census the family was living in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. In 1911 Census they were living in Common Lane, Royston. Members of his family continued to live in the same house in Common Lane until the 1970s, although my grandfather, Claude Burling Smith died in 1953.

Created by: Linda571

  • Profile picture for Cyril Joseph Smith

    Born 1898

    Died 1917

    British Army 42837 Private Manchester Regiment