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Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
Name: Frederick Smith Regimental Number: 1099379 Rank: Sapper Battalion: 256th Railway Construction Battalion Date of Birth: August 30, 1898 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, NS Date of Enlistment: February 3, 1917 Place of Enlistment: Yarmouth, NS Address at Enlistment: Yarmouth, NS Age at Enlistment: 19 Height: 5 feet, 5 inches Complexion: Medium Eye Colour: Grey Hair Colour: Brown Marital Status: Married Trade: Teamster Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: Catherine Smith (Wife) Main St., Yarmouth NS Date of Death: October 23, 1917 Age at Death: 20 Cemetery: Ridge Wood Military Cemetery, Belgium Grave Reference: I. U. 5. Commemorated on Page 328 of the First World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on July 17 Listed on the St. Ambrose Church Tablet, Yarmouth, NS Commemorated on the Yarmouth Monument; listed as “Edgar J. Smith” Frederick was the son of Edgar J. Smith and Annie Smith of Yarmouth, NS. He married Catherine LeBlanc on June 6, 1916. He served, prior to his WWI service, with the 29th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Yarmouth NS. His enlistment papers give his age as 19 years; however, the marriage certificate lists his age as 21 years in 1916. Enlisting at Yarmouth on February 3, 1917, with the 256th Railway Construction Battalion, he went overseas on the SS Northland arriving in Liverpool, England on March 29, 1917. He disembarked in France on June 19, 1917, and was served with the 10th Canadian Railway Troops. Sapper Smith was killed by enemy shell fire on October 23, 1917. The following letter was sent to his mother:
Frederick Smith
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Dear Mrs. Smith: It is with a great deal of sadness that I now extend to you and Mr. Smith my deepest sympathy for the loss of your son, Fred. It is very sad indeed to think that one so young and so devoted to duty should be one of those to fall, yet it is good to know that he died while at work under very great odds. He was killed doing his bit. The end cam instantaneously so you may rest assured that there was no long suffering. He proved himself a good soldier - an honest willing and devoted worker. Although he was smaller and not nearly so strong as the rest, he did his work cheerfully and was a friend to all. The body was laid away in a military cemetery Somewhere in France, A Roman Catholic Chaplain officiating. ... J. R. Parrott 10th Canadian Railway Troops
Sources: Library and Archives Canada Canadian Virtual War Memorial “A Monument Speaks” A Thurston; 1989 (p 311)