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Sergeant Robert Samuel Smith MM

Photograph of Sam Smith MMSergeant Robert Samuel Smith (18031) was born in Beswick, Manchester on 28 April 1893. Known as Sam Smith, he worked as a builder prior to his enlistment on 16th November 1914. He was attached to the 20th Battalion Manchester Regiment. Sam Smith saw action at Fricourt during the afternoon of 1st July and at Ginchy on 3rd September during the Somme campaign in 1916. 

He was wounded on 4th May 1917 at Bullecourt when most of the 20th Battalion was decimated by German shellfire as they assembled along the railway embankment prior to the attack on the village. The severity of his wounds necessitated the need for him to be returned to Britain on 18th May to recover from his wounds.

Sam Smith returned to France on 5 April 1918 and was assigned to the 10th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. He was wounded again in the Battle of the River Selles on 20 October 1918 and returned to Britain on 28th October 1918.

The war was over within weeks and during February 1919 he received the Military Medal, which can be assumed for his bravery during 1918. After recovering from his wounds and demobilisation he established a business as a pet store proprietor on Ashton New Road, Manchester.

Sam Smith would serve his country a second time with the Home Guard during World War Two and was awarded the Defence Medal and the War Medal. Sam Smith passed away on 11 May 1955 at the age of 62.

By Paul Fitzgerald (Sam’s Grandson)