Great War Dundee
This is Dundee's story of those that served in the First World War, and of the people left at home
- Date of enlistment:
- Place of enlistment: Dundee
- Service no: 2210
- Rank: Private
- Service Occupation:
- Regiment/Service: Black Watch
- Unit/Ship: 4th/5th Battalion
- Place of Death: France
- Age at Death:
- Date of Death: 29.09.1916
- Burial Country: France
- Cemetery: Knightsbridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart
- Grave/Mem Ref no: E.28.
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth: Newton Stewart
- Address: 68 Murraygate, Dundee
- Occupation: Labourer
Mary Smith, nee Robertson
Davina Smith, 68 Murraygate, Dundee
More about Thomas Smith
2210 Pte Thomas Smith 4/5 Bn Black Watch
Thomas although resident in Dundee was reportedly a native of Newton Stewart born to parents Thomas Smith an engineer and Mary Smith, nee Robertson. It is not clear when he actually came to Dundee but I suspect it may have been before or early in the war. My reasoning for this is based on an early service number for the 4th Bn BW being suggestive that his enlistment was to that Territorial Force Bn rather than a New Army Bn. Moreover, his medal index card reveals he entered the BEF IN April 1915 with drafts replacing casualties from Neuve Chappelle in March . This would mean he would have likely been present with 4th Bn in their actions at Aubers Ridge, and the Diversionary attack at Pietre in support of the main Loos Battle further to the South.
Prior to his enlistment he was a General Labourer in Dundee and residing at 68 Murraygate, now a busy shopping thoroughfare
He was a married man, married to Davina, (a sack weaver), by declaration in May 1916 with both he and Davina resident at 68 Murraygate although the register entry does include the phrase that he was currently serving with the BEF intimating perhaps that he was on leave and taking the opportunity of formalising his relationship with Davina. Servicemen in the BEF at around this time will have been aware that a “major push” was in the offing but not aware of any specifics hence Thomas formalising his relationship with Davina may well have been influenced, in part at least, by a desire to ensure any pension or gratuity in the event of his becoming a casualty would be paid to her.
We know that 4/5 Black Watch as part of 39 Div were one of 7 Black Watch Battalions involved the the four and a half months Somme campaign and in September 1916 they were involved in the line both sides of the of the Andre and on the 29th Sept facing Beaumont Hamel., Thomas was killed in Action. He now rests in Knightsbridge CWGC cemetery
For those who know the area or perhaps visit Newfoundland Park with us on Battlefield Experiences, if when dismounting from the Coach in the Car Park at Newfoundland Park, turn and face to the West, (facing away from Newfoundland Park), and you will see Knightsbridge Cemetery in the fields in the middle distance, a number of Dundee men lie there, including Thomas.
Back in Dundee Davina did indeed become the beneficiary of Thomas’ death gratuity with a pension of 13/9 per week, (approx 0.65p per week). I can find no record of any offspring so it seems likely that Thomas’ line ended then
Additional information kindly supplied by Jim Flood
Can you tell us more about Thomas Smith'? Some additional facts, a small story handed down through the family or perhaps a picture or an heirloom you can share online. Contact our curator...