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  • Able Seaman J.H. Smith- RN & London Fire Brigade
  • Able Seaman J.H. Smith- RN & London Fire Brigade

Item: GB0997

Able Seaman J.H. Smith- RN & London Fire Brigade


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Able Seaman J.H. Smith- RN & London Fire Brigade

1914-15 Star (221225, J.H. SMITH, A.B., R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (221225 J.H. SMITH. A.B. R.N.); Coronation Medal 1911, London Fire Brigade (FIREMAN J.H. SMITH.); London Fire Brigade Good Service Medal (FIREMAN J.H. SMITH.); and Royal Fleet Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, George V (221225 (P.O. B 3921) J.H. SMITH. A.B. R.F.R.). Naming is officially impressed on all six. Board mounted, extremely fine. Also included are duotang folders with his military and fireman biographies, a copy of his Service Record, along with eight ship photographs. Footnote: John Henry Smith was born on June 21, 1886 in Bermondsey, London. He enlisted with the Royal Navy on June 21, 1902, stating his trade as Labourer and beginning service as a Boy Seaman 2nd Class attached to the Training Ship for Boy Seaman, H.M.S. Impregnable. He was then assigned to H.M.S. Agincourt, an Ironclad Frigate, in November 1902. By April 1903, he had become a Boy Seaman 1st Class and in December 1903, was with H.M.S. Vernon at the Naval Base in Portsmouth. He signed on for twelve years service on June 25, 1904 and saw promotions to the ranks of Ordinary Seaman (June 25, 1904) and Able Seaman (July 2, 1906), serving aboard a variety of ships, including H.M.S. St. George (Cruiser, 1904), Magestic (Battleship, 1904), Victory 1 (Naval Depot, 1906), Hecla (Depot Ship, 1907), Blenheim (Cruiser, 1908), Blake (Cruiser, 1910) and returning to Victory 1 (December 5, 1910). Smith did not complete the twelve years service he had signed on for with the Royal Navy but purchased his discharge. He then entered the Royal Fleet Reserve, where after a combined total of fifteen years service, he was awarded the Royal Fleet Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. It is probable, that after his release from active service, that he joined the London Fire Brigade, earning the George V Coronation Medal on June 22, 1911, either as a member of the actual parade itself or lining the parade route. Smith was recalled to active duty from his civilian ocuupation of fireman upon the outbreak of World War I and was drafted to the Battleship H.M.S. Glory, in the 8th Battleship Squadron, seeing service in the Western Atlantic in 1914. After a brief stop at the Gunnery School, H.M.S. Excellent in Portsmouth in 1916, he returned to Glory in August 1917, stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, in support of the landings at Gallipoli and the Dardanelles. He then was sent to the Naval Depot H.M.S. Victory 1 on October 22, 1917, where he was demobilized on November 11, 1917, so that he could rejoin the London Fire Brigade. He was later awarded the London Fire Brigade medal in bronze for "good service". (BGR239)
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