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Memorial to the Fallen
The Great War 1914 ~ 1918 | Ninetieth Anniversary

Profiles of the Fallen

Harold Alphonse Smith
Rank and Honours: Gunner / Driver
Unit(s): 1st Canadian DAC, Div. Ammunition Col. (Canadian Field Artillery)
Next of Kin / Parents: Margaret Smith (mother), 233 Québec Ave., Toronto, Ont.
  Ralph Smith (brother)
Date of Birth: 27 April 1893
Enlisted: 1916
Date of Death (& Place): 5 September, 1918 killed in action at Arras
Age: 25
Burial Information: War Diary: Hardicourt Military Cemetery, Map 51B-U16.a.8.9, plot 1, row 1, graves 13-19 inclusive
  Veterans Affairs Canada shows:
  Honourable Artillery Company Cemetery (Ecoust St. Mein)
  Pas de Calaise, France
  Ecoust St. Mein is a village in the Department of the Pas de Calaise, between Arras, Cambrai and Bapaume. The H.A.C. cemetery is about 800 metres south of the village on the west side of the D956 road to Beugenatre.
Further Personal Information: GUNNER SMITH KILLED
  Gunner Harold Alphonse Smith, 233 Québec Avenue, West Toronto, was killed in action on September 6. He is the first of three brothers who joined the service in 1916 with the R.C.H.A., to be recorded in the casualty list, the brothers being Gunner Ralph, 20 years, and Bombardier H.A. is 25 years old and was born in Beaverton and educated at La Salle (sic) College and St. Michael's College. He was on the staff of the Molsons Bank, Ottawa. Since going over he has been through Vimy, Somme and all the recent battles. "If I dont come back I'll only miss a few more joys and sorrows", was what he said when he went away.
  Obituary, Toronto Star, 27th September 1918, provided by Veterans Affairs Canada
 

War Diary Excerpt

  SON WRITES MOTHER OF BROTHER'S DEATH | View newspaper article
  Gnr. Harold A. Smith was Buried by Explosion of Big Shell.
  West Toronto, Sept. 30 - Following closely upon the receipt of the official news that her son Gnr. Harold A. Smith, of the Canadian Horse Artillery, had been killed on September 5, Mrs. Margaret Smith, 233 Québec Avenue, received a letter from one of her two surviving sons, Bomb. Ralph Smith, also of the same Branch of the service, giving an account of his brother's death. Writing on the day following the occurrence, he says: "Last night and to-day I have passed the most miserable hours of my life. It seems as though by Harold's death I have lost every friend I had in the world. He has always been so good to me, and in all the time we have been out here together we have never has a cross word one with the other. There is one thing, dear mother, there was never a better man in the world, and I guess he is far better off now than any of us on earth. He always went to mass and communion every opportunity he had of doing so, and he was, without a doubt, the most popular and well-liked man in our section. Last night he came over to see me and read me four letters he had just received from Joe Hickey, Tom ---, M--- of the Molsons Bank, and G- [Grandpa?] Smith, and then we sat laughing and joking till he went home to his little canvas shack, where he slept with two other boys, both of whom were also killed later in the evening. About 9 O'Clock the Boche started to shell our line, so one of the N.C.O.'s told Harold and his friends to go into his corrugated hut for safety. The appear to have no sooner got in when a big shell landed directly inside, killing Harold and six others wounding five more. I arrived at the scene of the ruin a few minutes after it happened, but I never dreamt that my poor dear brother was lying amongst the debris, in fact, I didn't know for sure that he had been killed till this morning. I spent half the night searching for him, as no one seemed to know till afterwards that he had gone into the hut. The whole section turned out to his funeral this afternoon, but I was afraid I'd break down so I didn't go. It must have been awful shock to you when you received the news, and I do hope you have all borne your grief bravely, but just think, there are thousands of other poor mothers receiving the same terrible news every-."
  Toronto Star, September 30, 1918
  Letter from brother Ralph to his mother giving account of Harold's last hours and death was provided by Veterans Affairs Canada
Details have been verified from the following sources:

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Veterans Affairs Canada

Commonwealth War Grave Commission