Sergeant George Smith, Drum Major, 1 East Surrey Regiment

Discussion in '1940' started by PGWKATIE, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Welcome to the forum double.g. It's always nice to be able to put more detail to these 1940 casualties and also to know that they are not forgotten. The story of George's family brings home the tragedy of two major conflicts in less than thirty years which had so dramatic an effect on so many, especially the children who grew up without a father. Having progressed from a 14 year old bandsman to a Drum Major, he seems to have turned out alright

    Since the posts last year, CWGC have made more available on-line in terms of original paper records.

    [​IMG]

    The record for Kaster Churchyard shows six named East Surrey casualties for 21st May buried in a row...with an 'unknown' between 15 and 17. Bearing in mind that the War Diaries show seven East Surrey fatalities on 21st May and having read numerous accounts of local burials, it seems to me most unlikely that plot 16 could be anyone other than the seventh man - Drum Major George Smith and that sadly the local authorities were unable to make a positive identification, probably later in 1940 once removal from field graves was permitted.

    On this photo from CWGC, plot 16 would appear to be the second from left in the back row.


    [​IMG] :poppy:
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    That church has took a pounding. You can see a repaired hole above the graves and a whole new wall on the right.
     
  3. mannhenry

    mannhenry Junior Member

    I was in this graveyard this morning with a local man and we thought it would be interesting to try to find out who the two unnamed soldiers were. As usual, you’ve come up trumps. Is it possible that the bodies could be DNA tested by the CWGC?
     
  4. PGWKATIE

    PGWKATIE Member

    I am Sgt George Smith's great niece. Having got this far in locating George - and I am extremely grateful to this site for all the help received, as the mystery was solved within hours - I often feel it is such a shame that his name isn't on his gravestone. As you say I can't see how there would be any way of positively identifying him without a DNA test - and in reality would disturbing his body be the best thing to do? Also as you have already said, whether it is likely that the CWGC would offer this is another matter. It's a dilemma though, because from my own perspective I would desperately like visitors to Kaster to know the name of the man who lies there so that he can be properly remembered.
     
  5. mannhenry

    mannhenry Junior Member

    It’s a dilemma for sure. The only consolation is that you know that one of those two graves holds your great uncle and it’s cared for by the people that live there.
     

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