18-year-old Private Clarence Alfred Sinclair Smith died on 27th July 1916, serving as a Private with “B” Company, 16th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Knowle on 27th June 1898, and baptised at Knowle parish church on 14th August 1898. His father, Alfred, was listed as an insurance agent and the family was living at Kenilworth Road, Knowle.
By 1901, when Clarence was two years old, his father Alfred was a Lance Corporal with the Infantry, and was based at Chatham Barracks, Kent. The birthplaces of the rest of the children show how the family moved around the country – George David James was born in Chatham in 1902 (Regimental birth indexes suggest his father was serving with the 45th Foot); Norah Ethel Rose was born in Newport, Isle of Wight in 1903; Emily Audrey was born in Aldershot in 1905; Dorothy Jennette was born in Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland in 1908 as was Olive Lily in 1910.
By 1911, Alfred had been discharged to pension and the family was in Nechells, Birmingham where Alfred was working as a night watchman at a silversmith’s. The family remained in the Birmingham area, with several of the children marrying at St Andrew’s Church, Bordesley in the late 1920s/early 1930s.
Clarence appears to have joined the Birmingham Pals shortly after the outbreak of war, at which time he was living in Small Heath. His medal index card indicates he arrived in France with the regiment on 21st November 1915. He was killed in action on 27th July 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He doesn’t appear to be commemorated on a war memorial locally.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977
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