Corporal William Enos Smith from Solihull was killed in action on 1st September 1915, aged 29, serving with the 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
An insurance agent by profession, he appears to have had quite a difficult start in life. His father Robert Enos Smith, a brickmaker, died, aged 40, when William was just two years old. William’s mother, Emma, was left a widow with six children aged between one and 11. William was the fifth child and second son. Following her husband’s death, Emma seems to have taken in boarders at the family home in New Road in order to make ends meet. She died in 1903, aged 56, when William was 16 years old.
By 1911, William was living on his own, aged 24, in Warwick Road, Solihull. His Army service record seems not to have survived but it’s known that William first entered a Theatre of War on 18th July 1915, less than two months before he was killed. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. His name is also recorded locally on the Solihull war memorial in the Square, Solihull.
An announcement of his death appeared in the Birmingham Daily Mail on 8th September 1915:
SMITH. – On the 1st inst., killed in action, Corporal William Enos Smith, 10th Royal Warwks, second son of the late Robert Enos Smith of the firm of Enos Smith and Sons, Brick Works, Solihull.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian