The Smiths of Ryburgh

On the Tenor bell in the belfry at Ryburgh the following inscription is to be seen:















Throughout the second half of the C19th., the name of Smith to many was arguably synonymous with Great Ryburgh. They certainly influenced the lives of a good many families in the village. It seems almost a surprise to find only H.F.E. Smith (son of Frederick  Edgar) on the Roll of Honour, but that is partly due to the ages of respective family members in relation to the War years.

Of the children of Frederick and Annie Smith who donated the bells at St Andrew’s in their memory, most were in their 50’s by the war years. Frederick (junior) had died in 1906 and Edgar “Ned” died in 1914 and the eldest George in 1917 aged only 56.

George had looked after his younger brothers Harry Jacob b. 1875 and Charles George b. 1876 and from the pages of Betty Wharton’s book “The Smiths of Ryburgh” we learn that Harry Jacob had emigrated to Tasmania around 1911 and enlisted there. His service record is held in the Australian Archives and from that we learn that when he enlisted he was married and living at the following address:





What is more he gave his occupation as professional soldier with the following service:





He saw service in Egypt, and France and returned to Australia in March 1918 for the termination of his appointment. His record showed that he applied for this both because he had been passed over for promotion several times in spite of having had a satisfactory record and because his wife had been dangerously ill. After the War and the death of his wife Muriel he married his brother's widow, Alice May after Herbert's death in 1921.

You can access his complete service record through the National Archives of Australia  if you wish to learn more about Harry Jacob.


Edith Smith, born 1868, married Alfred Charles Hammond at Kensington Registry Office on January 18th 1890. He was 12 years her senior and had left Edith for Canada in 1905 leaving her to bring up their two sons, Anthony and Charles Their marriage ended in divorce in June 1911 on the grounds of desertion and adultery. Charles died in 1915 and his brother  Anthony was killed in action on November 28th 1917 serving with the12th Lancers.


The most closely associated with Ryburgh, Herbert Edgar Smith was 49 when War broke out.  He lived at the Mill House after his mother died, 


The Mill House



Herbert had played his part in the South African Wars and his eldest son Malcolm was just 16 in 1914


Of Herbert’s two older brothers:  

George’s eldest son, George Frederick Edgar, known as Geoff, had been born in and lived at Wells. He died and was buried in France in 1918. You can read his biography here and access his complete service record through the National Archives of Australia  if you wish to learn more about Geoff.


George’s youngest son and Geoff's brother, Edgar Ladas Smith was” Gazetted” Temporary 2nd Lieut. On 19th September 1914 on a list from the Cadets and ex Cadets of the Officer Training Corps. According to Betty Wharton’s book “The Smiths of Ryburgh”, he was  in Salonika for 3 years where he contracted a bad case of Malaria and was invalided out of the service. Malaria was recurrent thereafter until his death in 1929 by his own hand.


copyright 2015

Not on the Roll of Honour
Webpage icon Herbert Jeremiah Chapman Jubilee Pallant
Webpage icon William James Holman
Webpage icon George Frederick Edgar "Geoff" Smith
Webpage icon Charles Henry Hall
Webpage icon Charles Smith McDonald
Webpage icon Henry Charles Moy M.M.
Webpage icon Albert Fox Codling
Webpage icon Bertie John Doy
Webpage icon William John Framingham
Webpage icon William John Hall
Webpage icon Joseph Thomas Baker
Webpage icon Thomas Henry Allison
Webpage icon William Ainger Howman
Webpage icon Arthur William Allison
Webpage icon Edgar Phillip Huckins
Webpage icon Guy Wade Burtenshaw
Webpage icon 2nd Lieut. Frank Noel Tuff
Webpage icon Charles Veasey Cooper
Webpage icon Ryburgh and The Royal Bucks Hussars
Page last updated: 18th Nov 2018 2:46 PM