Private Harold Smart

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers, 12th Battalion
Service No: 17724
Date & place of birth: October-December 1895, Petworth
Date & place of death: 16 August 1916 

Private Harold Smart was one of several  men to die who had lived in the cottages near the railway, an important area of Petworth then because of its transport links.

Family background

Harold Smart was the son of Richard and Mary Smart. Richard was a railway platelayer and the family (including 3 brothers and one sister) lived at Railway Cottages. Harold was still at school at the time of the 1911 census.

Military career

Private Smart enlisted in Petworth, so it is not clear why he served with the Royal Fusiliers and not the Royal Sussex. He entered France on 6 October 1915. His battalion took part in the Battle of Loos in 1915, and in 1916 in Delville Wood and Guillemont, as well as suffering in the German gas attack at Wulverghem. He was awarded the Victory, British and 14 Star medals.

Death & commemoration

Private Harold Smart was killed in action on 16 August 1916. He is buried in the Thiepval  cemetery and commemorated on the memorial there.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project