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Sgt. Lawrence G. Smith, 7th Cdo  XML
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apaul001
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Joined: 27/12/2017 04:01:21
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My friend Larry Smith died at age 83 in his adopted country of the United States, back on August 30, 1996. His death itself was long ago, but my research led me to this site due to the more recent death of Larry's son, Gordon N. Smith (2/22/46-12/8/17). I have been looking for any of Gordon's surviving relatives in the UK, and because of that endeavor, I got to thinking about Larry (whom I still miss very much), and his stories of wartime. Larry was a military man through and through, his father, uncle, and brother all having served. Larry was born at the Richmond Barracks. He had a brother, Norman E. A. Smith, a tank commander who died in France during the events just prior to the evacuation at Dunkirk. Larry himself enlisted in the Royal Armoured Corps at the age of 14 (which seems incredible to me, as my own daughter is 14, and I could no more imagine her enlisting in the service than going to the moon!). I believe Larry joined the 7th Commandos shortly after its formation. He spent a long time as a P.O.W., at least for a time in Italy. I am not sure in which action he was captured, the dates seem to suggest Crete, but I don't remember if he ever told me. Larry shared with me that his time as a P.O.W. was harrowing, but he was a staunch advocate of the stiff upper lip, and liked to quote Kipling's "If-". After recounting the bare details of some traumatic wartime memory to me, he'd close with, "'Nuff said." Following the end of the war, Larry transferred to the Household Cavalry. Throughout his military career- and indeed, the rest of his life- Larry was a fine clarinetist and worked as a professional musician and music educator. (That's how I met him.) Larry played the clarinet and was an assistant director in the Royal Life Guards Band while serving in the Household Cavalry. When he retired from military life, he and his family emigrated to Canada in 1951, and then to the United States. While I knew him, he and his family lived in Connecticut, a northeastern state just north of New York City. Upon his retirement he lived happily with his small family- his Scottish wife May, and Gordon, their only son. He enjoyed gardening, reading, and was a great letter writer. I would be happily surprised to learn if any of his old colleagues are able to respond to this thread. I am posting because I find no obituary for Larry on the CVA site, so I suppose no one submitted the news when his death occurred almost 20 years ago. I followed the site's faq, which instructed me to notify Pete Rogers of any obituary submissions, but the email feature of the site would not cooperate for me. Thanks to anyone reading this lengthy thread, it is but a humble memorialization of a treasured friend, but it is something.










GUY
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Joined: 26/05/2012 17:50:52
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316217 SMITH Lawrence George Sergeant R.A.C. & 7 Commando
Born : 11th August 1913 Dublin, Ireland
Enlisted : 28th October 1927 aged 14 years and 2 months
Trade on enlistment : Musician
Captured during the raid on Bardia, Libya, 20th April 1941
P.O.W. Stalag VIIIA Görlitz
Transferred to the Household Cavalry 22nd August 1945

The younger brother :
316722 SMITH Norman Edward Alfred Sgt. 17/21st Lancers R.A.C.
Born : 18th September 1915 Kildare, Wicklow, Ireland
Enlisted : 15th October 1929 Age 14
Died of wounds : 26th April 1943 Tunisia

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2197063/smith,-norman-edward-alfred/

Richmond Barracks, Dublin, Ireland

http://www.richmondbarracks.ie/


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This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 27/12/2017 19:14:28

NIC
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Thanks for the post regarding Larry Smith and thanks to Guy for providing the evidence that supports your information.

I have now amended his record in the No.7 Cdo Nominal Roll to show his full name.
http://www.commandoveterans.org/7CommandoNomRollP-Z

I, in turn, can add Larry's record as a PoW taken from WO 392/1 - 'Germany & German Occupied Territories, Imperial Prisoners of War; Section 1 - British Army.

With regards the email issue, we have had previous reports of a malfunction but on checking it seems to be in order - can you provide any details of error messages? Any information you can give us that may help our tech wizard track the glitch would be helpful.

Nick
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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 27/12/2017 20:40:44


Nick Collins

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Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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apaul001
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Nick and Guy,
I am humbled by your dedication to the memory of this soldier who died so long ago. Upon his death, his family was so devastated- the fact that he reached old age and had had a full life notwithstanding- they could scarcely bear the thought of notifying old friends and colleagues. It seems (understandably) that they left some details unaddressed. I feel like something has been put right. Again, I can't thank you enough.

As for the email issue, Pete Rogers' name appears to be a hot link from one of the "Contact Us" pages. When I click on it, however, my browser merely opens another window. It might be the browser I was using; I only tried IE, did not attempt any others.
Pete
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I have now added Sgt. Smith's name to our online Obituaries. Do you have a photo of him at all ?

I have created a new Contact Form for the website which hopefully works. Feel free to test it and let me know.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 21/01/2018 12:33:11


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages (pm). Use email, forum, or use the contact form, selecting the category website gallery questions, on the main home page.
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apaul001
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Hi Pete,

I do have a pic of Larry! Please let me know if this does not go through.
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NIC
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Once again, many thanks for the photo of Larry and your kind words, though I hasten to add that it is the raison d'ętre of the Commando Veterans Association to remember all those who have won the right to wear the coveted Commando green beret...

Nick

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 21/01/2018 12:33:49


Nick Collins

CVA Forum Administrator

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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apaul001
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Joined: 27/12/2017 04:01:21
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LOL. Thanks for putting his full name on the obituary. Not to nitpick (though I'm assuming you have a military devotion to precision!), there's an error in the date of his death. I probably swapped things around accidentally in a prior post (you know how we Yanks record our dates in the 'wrong' way!). So will write it out to be extra sure: March 30, 1996.
Eileen
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Welcome!

It's wonderful to learn about Sgt. Smith - thank you for introducing us to him.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 21/01/2018 12:34:15


If I have praised my comrades too highly I make no apology, for they were beyond all praise.

Lord Lovat - No 4 Commando
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Pete
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Hello again and thank you for the photo which I have now added to our 7 Commando gallery and included the excellent amount of detailed information provided on this forum thread. Here is a direct link to the actual image in that gallery: http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/7/Sgt+Smith+7+Cdo.jpg.html

The No 7 Commando gallery, which contains several photos of groups of soldiers in captivity can be found here http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/7/

I like to post a proper credit to those who provide photos to us, and you will see that this is so on almost all of them. If this is ok with you please let me know your full name and I will include it. I have also amended the date of death on the Obituary list.

I note his brother who died in the war also joined up at 14. So young.

Thanks to everyone who has posted.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 21/01/2018 12:34:34


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages (pm). Use email, forum, or use the contact form, selecting the category website gallery questions, on the main home page.
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