A South Africa & First War Group to the 1st Canadian Infantry
A South Africa & First War Group to the 1st Canadian Infantry - Queen's South Africa Medal, 3 Clasps - CAPE COLONY, ORANGE FREE STATE, PAARDEBERG (6172. Pte. W.H. SMITH. 2nd LANCASHIRE FUS. M.I.); King's South Africa Medal, 2 Clasps - SOUTH AFRICA 1901, SOUTH AFRICA 1902 (6172 Pte W.H. SMITH. LANC: FUS:): 1914-15 Star (A-6478 Pte W.H. SMITH. 1/CAN:INF:); British War Medal (406478 PTE. W.H. SMITH. 1-CAN.INF.); and Victory Medal (406478 PTE. W.H. SMITH. 1-CAN.INF.). Naming has been erased and privately engraved in italics on the QSA, while the other four medals are officially impressed. Unmounted, light contact, last clasp is loose and bruising on the QSA, edge wear on the BWM, original ribbons on the WWI Trio, very fine. Accompanied by multiple pages with copies of his CEF Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Pay Records and Discharge Certificates, along with Boer War research material. Footnote: William Henry Smith was born on November 25, 1876 in Walton-Le-Dale (near Preston), England, although one of his Medical Reports indicates his birth year to be 1872. He had been a veteran of the Indian theatre, as evidenced by mentioned in his medical records of taking ill with Enteric Fever (Typhoid Fever) in India in 1893. He also is documented as having endured a bout of Rheumatic Fever in Malta in 1898. He fought in the Boer War as a Private with the Lancashire Fusiliers, earning both the QSA and KSA. He signed his CEF Attestation Paper on March 30, 1915 in Amherst, Nova Scotia, with the 6th Mounted Rifle Battalion, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Annie Smith of Saint John, New Brunswick, stating that he had had previous military service with the 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers, that he was part of an Active Militia, that he was married and that his trade was that of Brass Moulder. The Mounted Rifle Battalion was organized on March 15, 1915 at Amherst, Nova Scotia. He was soon transferred to the 55th Infantry Battalion before leaving Canada on June 18, 1915. Upon arrival in England, he was taken on strength by the 12th Reserve Battalion on June 29th, before entering the French theatre on August 28th and being transferred to the 1st Infantry Battalion. Smith was in Europe for almost three years before he was wounded on July 7, 1918 and admitted to No. 2 Field Ambulance the following day with fractured ribs on his right side. He was transferred to No. 2 Canadian General at Le Treport on July 12th, before being invalided to England aboard the S.S. Aberdonian, arriving at No. 4 General Hospital at Basingstoke, Hants on July 17th. After three weeks, he was moved to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Coodon Camp at Bexhill on August 6, 1918, where he was also diagnosed with Senile Debility (a term previously used to describe Senility = the mental and physical deterioration associated with aging). He was suffering from poor eyesight and complaining of frequent headaches, with some radial hardening evident and his muscular development noted as "fair". There was definitely some discrepancy in his age, as it was noted in his Proceedings of a Medical Board Report, dated August 29, 1918 at Cooden Camp, that he was 51 years old. After recovery and medical assessment, he was discharged to duty the following week, on September 6th. He was later placed "on command" to the 2nd Canadian Command Depot at Witley on November 16th, with a "Debility". It was noted in his Medical Report, dated November 18, 1918 at A.D.M.S. Headquarters, Canadian Troops, that he would require a minimum of six months recovery. The decision was made to attach him to the Canadian Command Depot at Buxton on November 26th for return to Canada. He embarked England on December 7th aboard the S.S. Olympic, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 14th, where he was taken on strength of the Casualty Company. He took the next two weeks as leave (December 15, 1918 to January 3, 1919), before being transferred on February 5, 1919 to No. 7 District Depot in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was here that he was discharged upon demobilization on February 8th. He was credited with seven months at home and thirty-six months in the field, having served in Canada, England and France. In addition to his Trio, he was awarded Four Blue Service Chevrons. Smith died on July 19, 1943.