William Joseph O'Smotherly


William Joseph O'Smotherly


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Gloucestershire Regiment
8th Bn.


British War and Victory medals


UK Memorials

Hertford Town Memorial
Christchurch Plaque, now in Holy Trinity Church, Bengeo

Pre War

Born in 1877, in Hertford, to parents James and Mary, he was one of seven and in 1881 they were living at Port Hill Common, Bengeo and his father was an army pensioner. In 1891 he was living with his brother Robert and his mother along with two more of his brothers at 8 Byde Street, Bengeo. William married Emma Hedger in 1900 in Hertford, and they were living at 9 Old Hall Street, Hertford in 1901 and he was employed as a coach painter. The 1911 census shows they have two children Leslie William aged five and Elsie Emma aged one, they were living at 61 Port Hill, Hertford and he was now employed as a leather worker. First joined East Lancashire’s in 1896 when he then bought himself out. Husband to Emma of 51, Port Hill, Bengeo and they had 2 children.

Wartime Service

Formerly he enlisted in the 1/1st Hertfordshire as Private 4429. Then 8th Gloucester Reg. Pte. 39555. He was wounded in France in October 1916 and died Edmonton hospital, London, 23 March 1917, aged 40. William was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Bengeo with full military honours in an unmarked grave.

Additional Information

His effects were left to his widow Emma of 51 Port Hill, Bengeo and after William’s death his wife remarried and had more children. Nobody of this name appears on the CWGC website, and the only military information we have comes from the medal card index,


Terry & Glenis Collins, Marilyn Taylor