Other: Commemorated on the Tyne
Cot Memorial Brother-in-law
of Thomas Messenger
JOHN DAVIDSON SMITH was born 30 Nov 1889 in Dundonald, son of Charles, a baker, and
Elizabeth Davidson (who married at The Maidens,
Kirkoswald on 24 May 1881). Initially reported missing in action on 26
Oct 1917 at Ypres, Belgium, he was later reported killed on that date on 24 Aug
1918. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot
On 29 Oct 1915 at the Episcopal Church, Largs, John (aged 25, confectioner, of 62 Drumlanrigg
Street, Thornhill) married Mary (Maisie) Messenger of
Larbert Cottage, Fairlie, daughter of Robert Messenger, gardener at
SERVICE DETAILS On 12 Jan 1918 the Largs and Millport Weekly News
included a report from a fellow soldier who said he’d seen Pte. Smith get hit
in an attack on October 16th at Ypres with a serious wound to the
throat, which he’d assumed was fatal.
The Red Cross were trying to obtain further news, but feared this report
could be correct. It was also noted
that Private Smith been transferred to the K.O.S.B. only a week before his
death. He received the British War and
Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-
1918 The Toll Of War; Reported Killed: Mrs Smith, daughter of Mr. Messenger,
gardener, Fairlieburne, has received the following information through the
British Red Cross and order of St. John, of her husband, Pte. John D. Smith,
K.O.S.B., who was reported missing since 26th October, 1917. The particulars have been given by Pte. J.
Dalrymple of the same regiment, who is now in hospital in France. He says:-
“I saw Pte. Smith get hit in an attack on October 16th, at Ypres. We went over about midday and got close to
the objective. I was in a shell-hole up
to my waist in mud, when Smith crawled by and asked could I get out. I said, “Yes”. He went on, and I struggled out – immediately
I saw him fall. He was only 5 yards
away. As I passed I saw he was seriously
wounded in the throat. He was crouched
forward on his knees. I spoke to him, he
did not answer, and seemed unconscious.
I thought from what I saw the wound was fatal. I was wounded immediately after, and did not
see him again. We were transferred
together into the K.O.S.B., only a week before his death.
The Red Cross state that they are trying to obtain further news about
Pte. Smith, and while they do not accept the information as final evidence of
death, they greatly fear that as no further news has been received, this report
may be correct. Much sympathy is felt
for Mrs Smith by her many friends in her great anxiety.
24 August 1918 Deaths,
On Service: Smith:
Missing since 26th October, 1917, now reported killed on that date,
Private John Smith, K.O.S.B. (late Scottish Rifles), dearly beloved husband of
Maisie Messenger, and second son of Charles Smith, Thornhill.
Death is strong, but love is stronger,
And though, maybe, our bodies are apart,
Together still in spirits and heart.
- 30 North Drumlanrig Street, Thornhill.