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Founded in 1884 by Louth Naturalists',
Antiquarian and Literary Society
Registered Charity No. 1145436

A Local Independent Museum
Nationally Accredited
Quality Assured Visitor Attraction

The Great War (1914-1918)

Louth Museum's Book of Remembrance

The Great War was the 'war to end all wars'. It left Louth and the surrounding area families without fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. To mark a century since the Great War ended, we invite you to contribute to our online Book of Remembrance. Visitors to the Museum will also be able to sign a Book of Remembrance and write their family stories or thoughts on any aspect of The Great War. If you would like to contribute to our online Book of Remembrance, please click here.

Remembrance means different things to everyone and however we choose to remember, it is vitally important that we continue remember those who made ultimate sacrifice as the terrible events of the Great War begin to fade away through the generations. Our Book of Remembrance aims to ensure that the memories of those who made the final sacrifice and those who suffered family loss will never be forgotten.

If you would like to contribute to this Book of Remembrance, please send your story and a digital photograph to: remembrance@louthmuseum.org.uk

Submitted by Martin Chapman

'Harold Smith of Great Carlton'

Harold Smith of Great Carlton

In Remembrance of Harold Smith

My maternal grandfather, Harold Smith of Great Carlton served in World War I. Born in 1892, Harold was one of eight children of John and Amy Smith of “The Homestead” in Chapel Lane, Great Carlton. The names of all the Smith children were Jim, Harold, Edith, Isaac, Joe, Amy, Jack and Sydney. The four older sons – Jim, Harold, Isaac and Joe - served in the armed forces.

I have copies of the letters that Harold sent to his parents during the war. Extracts from the letters include, Jan 1917: “Just a line to tell you I am alright, but nearly starved to death as you will see by the writing. It is bitter sharp frosts here. We have been in the train two days and three nights.” Feb 1917: “I get plenty to eat and it seems to be the chief thing to get your belly full, then you can stand the pressure. The dugouts are alright, some have fireplaces in, but we have many unwelcome visitors. The rats they are a blooming nuisance. Have you sold the hay yet? And have you got any young lambs yet?” Aug 1918: “A few lines to let you know that I have received the parcel safe and sound, and not damaged this time. I have not heard from Jim yet”.

The last comment is very poignant as Harold’s older brother Jim had died on 8th November 1917, and more than six months later Harold still was unaware of this. Younger brother Isaac had also been killed in 1917. Harold, who was a gunner in the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, and Joe who was in the Royal Engineers, both returned safely home to Carlton.

In the years following the Great War life was stressful for John and Amy Smith. Not only had they lost two sons, but cereal prices which had been high during the war fell sharply in 1920-21 leading to agricultural depression. Farming became economically grim, and tragically my great-grandfather John committed suicide in 1922. This was another blow for his wife Amy, now aged 61 – but she lived another 21 years, dying in 1943 during World War II.

In 1920 Harold Smith, then aged 28, married Rose Appleby. Their daughter Joan Smith became the wife of Roger Chapman and subsequently my mother!

And on positive note, Harold’s youngest brother, my great uncle Sydney Smith became a well-known singer, not only starring in numerous concerts in Louth, but also singing in London’s Albert Hall.

Submitted by Susan Lewis

'G H Parker of the Grimsby Chums'

Poppy

In Remembrance of G H Parker

My grandad, G H Parker, served during the Great War in the (Grimsby Chums) Lincolnshire Regiment. He was born in South Somercotes on 11th October 1892 and joined up on 13th March 1915. He was injured and discharged on 31st January 1916. His brother born January 1898 in South Somercotes followed him into the Lincolnshire Regiment in August 1916 and was injured by mustard gas and discharged.

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