Other names: William Edward Southernwood
Locations in this story: Bell Street, Shaftesbury, DorsetFrance & FlandersSouthsea, HampshireEssex
Story: William Edward Southernwood Smith was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 2nd July 1882 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 6th August 1882, the son of William Robert Smith and Elizabeth Dennis Smith (née Purnell). He lived his early life in Shaftesbury, attending Shaftesbury Grammar School for some of his education, until, by 1911, he had moved to premises at 54-66 Kings Road, Southsea, Hampshire, where he was a living-in Drapery Assistant. His mother meanwhile had died and his father had re-married and was living in the family home at 12 Bell Street, Shaftesbury. William enlisted and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, becoming a Staff Sergeant (Service No. 45284). He served in France and Flanders from 3 Jun 1915 and following his discharge was awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1915 Star. His address per the Electoral Register of 1918 was 11 Bell Street, Shaftesbury, (where his Grandmother lived) and he was still there by the time of the 1939 Register still single and employed as a Drapery Salesman. He is thought to have died in the Essex South Western Registry area in 1960.