Arthur Ernest Smith (1889 -1917)
Private 33641 2nd / 5th Battalion
Arthur Smith was the youngest surviving child of compositor Charles Smith and of Mary Ann Crane, and the youngest brother of Charles Edgar Smith and Nellie Victoria Smith.
Born in Aston in mid-1889, Arthur worked as a clerk for the Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Company, living at the family home in Lime Grove, Stratford Road.. Arthur joined the army in December 1916. The Battle of Arras was a British offensive on the Western Front during World War I. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British troops attacked German defences near the French city of Arras. After some success, the British advance slowed and the German defence recovered.
The battle became a costly stalemate for both sides and by the end of the battle, the British Third and First Army had suffered about 160,000 casualties and the German 6th Army about 125,000.
Among those killed was Arthur Smith, aged 29, who died on 27th April. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.
Six weeks later, Arthur’s eldest brother Charles was killed in action.