Roll of Honour
Lieutenant Francis John Smith
Also linked to: Bicester Methodist Church
Regiment: London Regiment (15th)
Conflict: World War One
Date of Death: 30th October 1918
Age at Death: 34
Burial/Memorial Location: Bicester Cemetery, Oxfordshire, UK
Address: 7 Sheep Street, Bicester
Mentioned in despatches. Born in Bicester. Son of Frederick & Esther Smith, of Bedford Park, London.
"We regret to record the death of Lieutenant F.J. Smith, youngest son of the late Mr Fred Smith, formerly of Bicester, which took place from sceptic pneumonia following influenza at the Central Military Hospital, at Eastbourne on Wednesday.
The deceased, who was 34 years of age, left Bicester when quite a boy on entering the Civil Service. He had been a member of the Civil Service Rifles for about nine years when the Regiment was mobilised for active service on August 4th, 1914. He went to France with the 1/15th Battalion of that Regiment early in 1915, and was given a commission soon after arriving there. He was subsequently invalided home, and after a short rest was attached to the 2/15th Battalion. He subsequently served in Ireland, and in 1916 returned to France and was attached to the 179th Trench Mortar Battery.
In November, 1916, he went to Salonica, and early in the following yearn went to Egypt. He was present at the capture of Beer Sheba, and received a compound fracture of the thigh on October 31st, 1917. He was mentioned in dispatches by General Allenby, and returned to hospital in this country in March, 1918, where he was at the time of his death. He was on the point of relinquishing his commission and returning to civil employment at Somerset House, being unfit for further military service.
He was a great athlete, excelling in most sports and games, especially in football. As an amateur he had been “capped” for England on several occasions. He was a member of the Civil Service Club, and was considered one of the fastest forwards in the country. He has played for Oxfordshire, Middlesex, and was in the team representing London versus Paris.
The funeral of Lieutenant Smith takes place at Bicester on Monday afternoon next at two o’clock." Bicester Advertiser 01/11/1918