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George Stephen Smith

We received information relating to Appledore brothers Henry “Harry” Joseph Smith and George Stephen Smith.  Both boys had enlisted with The Buffs; Harry gave his life in Flanders in 1917, whilst George survived the war.  Harry is commemorated on the Appledore Roll of Honour under ‘Those Who Fell”, however George’s name is missing from “Those Who Served”, so we set about finding the reason for this.

George was born in Woodchurch on 20th February, 1897.  His parents were Joseph and Kate Smith (nee Boorman).  The 1911 census shows the family living in Appledore.

In February 1914 George turned 17. However, the minimum age requirement for voluntary enlistment in 1914 was 18 years (19 for those being sent abroad).

George enlists in Ashford on 25th September 1914.  His Attestation Paper shows he gave his age as 19 years 69 days.

On 25th September 1914 George enlists with the Buffs, Regimental Number 3791.
On 1st October 1914 he is transferred to Queens Royal West Surrey (Regimental Number recorded variously as 2998 and 2988).
On 22nd October 1914 George is discharged as medically unfit.

The Statement of Services below shows that George is discharged as ‘medically unfit for further service under King’s Regulations Paragraph 392 (iii)(c)’.

King’s Regulations Paragraph 392 (iii)(c) states:-

George’s Military History Sheet confirms that he served just 27 days before his discharge. This is almost certainly the reason behind his name not appearing on the Roll of Honour.

Happily, George went on to marry Louisa Jane Piddlesden in 1918, and they had six children. He died in 1954, aged 57.