Arthur Walter Smith (1885-1918)
Gardener, Greenwich Park
Arthur Walter Smith was born in 1885 to James, a labourer, and Sarah Smith then living at 109 Royal Hill, Greenwich. At age 16 Arthur was working for the Office of Works in Greenwich Park as a park labourer with his father, now a “Crown Park Constable”. Arthur was then living at 14 John Street, Greenwich with his mother, father, elder brother and two younger sisters. On 12 September 1908 Arthur, then of 46 Winforton Street, married Maud Alice Parks, of 3 Dutton Street, in Holy Trinity Church, Blackheath Hill. In 1911 Arthur was still working as a gardener in Greenwich Park, and he and Maud were living at 71 Dutton Street with their daughter, Mildred. By the time Arthur joined the army they were living at 58 Blisset Street with three daughters.
On 30 December 1914 Arthur signed up to join the army at the recruiting office in Greenwich. He was placed into the National Reserve Territorials and put into 20th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment based at Holly Hedge House in Blackheath, which was used to guard railways and other vulnerable points. On 5 November 1915, he was transferred to 18th (London) Battalion, The Rifle Brigade and on the 24th was sent with the battalion to “India” and arrived in Rangoon, then part of India on 5 January 1916 to take up garrison duties. In August 1918 Arthur was promoted on a temporary basis to corporal and travelled to the Middle East where he was attached to the South Persia Rifles in their mechanical transport section. On a journey from Saidabad to Aliabad Arthur “having been careless about some tea in Aliabad” was admitted, on 3 September, to the station hospital in Kerman complaining of sickness and diarrhoea. A case of cholera was soon diagnosed and Arthur spent the next few days under treatment. Three days later the symptoms of cholera had “long since ceased”, but he became “progressively more drowsy” and did not improve. The next day Rifleman 200425 Arthur Walter Smith lost consciousness completely and at 3.00 pm on 8 September 1918 died of haemorrhage of the brain as a result of the cholera.
He was buried at Kerman Cemetery and then exhumed and moved to Naibund Cemetery in 1925. His name appears in the addendum panel on the Tehran Memorial.