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Charles George Smallbones MM

Serjeant 625 "A" Coy. 7th Battalion, The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment
Died 1 July 1916 aged 37
Remembered on Ash War Memorial
Buried in Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, Somme, where his gravestone is inscribed “Thy will be done”
Remembered on the Memorial to the Men of Ash Vale in St Mary’s Church
Remembered on Camberley War Memorial

Charles Smallbones was born at Honiton, Devon, the son of Charles and Eliza.

The censuses record that his family lived in Bentworth, Alton, in 1881; and in Aspen Cottages in Camberley in 1891 and 1901. In 1911 Charles and his wife Daisy lived in Sandhurst and Charles was a general labourer. They had been married 4 years and had two children.The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that Charles Smallbones also served in the South African Campaign. Soldiers Died records that he enlisted at Guildford. Charles’s medals card records that he went to France 27 July 1915 and was awarded the 1914/15 Star.

The War Diary of 7th Battalion, The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment, records on 20 June 1916 "Lieut V Hook, 625 Sgt Smallbones CG and 1231 L/Cpl Rowe P mentioned in despatches by Gen Sir D Haig". Charles Smallbones was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The War Diary records that on 1 July 1916 "At 7.30am the Battalion assaulted the German trenches to the front of left half or A1 Sub-Sector on a front of about 400 yards. After 12 hours fighting the final objective W of Montauban was reached and consolidated on a front of about 280 yards." Seven officers were killed and 9 were wounded. Of the other ranks 174 were killed, 284 were wounded and 58 were missing. "Battalion held objective gained during night, establishing touch with 8th East Surrey Regt on its right and the 8th Norfolk Regiment on its left."

Sgt Smallbones was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. His name appears in a list of men who had "been killed in action or died of wounds or disease subsequent to the date of the award" in the Supplement to the Military Gazette 19 February 1917.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records Daisy Smallbones living at 3 Shawfields Cottages, Shawfield Road; and the 1918 electoral register records her as living at 5 Heather Cottages, Frimley Road.

Ash Great War Roll of Honour

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