Biography of Bandsman Archie Smith (6938)
3rd Battalion King’s Royal Rifles Corp Regiment
Died 2nd April 1916


  • Name: Archie Smith
  • Date of birth: 1889
  • Place of Birth: Billingborough, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: October – December 1889
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, LIncolnshire, England


  • Name: William Smith
  • DOB: 1849
  • Place of Birth: Morcott, Rutland, England
  • Occupation: Bootmaker and repairer


  • Name: Mary Ann Smith
  • DOB: 1851
  • Place Of Birth: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
  • Marriage:

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Mabel Smith, 1879, Crowland
  • Ethel Smith, 1881, Billingborough
  • Fred Smith, 1882, Billingborough
  • Ernest Smith, 1884, Billingborough
  • Archie Smith, 1889, Billingborough
  • Albert Smith, 1893, Horbling


  • 1891: Archie is living with his parents at 27 Vine Street, Billingborough, Lincolnshire.
  • 1901: Archie is living with his parents in Church View, Horbling, Lincolnshire.
  • 1911: Archie is living with his regiment the Infantry in India. The census gives him an age of 21 and he is listed as a Bandsman.

Relatives in services

  • Archie’s brothers Albert also fought and were killed in WW1. Albert can be found on our page dedicated to the Horbling War Memorial. Another Brother Ernest served in the Royal Field Artillery and was wounded.


  • No marriage for Archie has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • Grantham Journal Saturday September 12th 1914
    LOCAL PATRIOTS. Several Billingborough and Horbling young men have rallied most patriotically to the nation’s call.  Thier names anf the regiments in which they have enlisted are as follows:- H. J. Tebb, Royal Horse Artillery, R. W. Tebb, Royal Horse Artillery, and Herbert Tebb, 1th Hussars, sons of Mr H. Tebb (Horbling); Leslie G Hodgkinson, Royal Field Artillery, C. Norman Hodgkinson, Royal Engineers, son, of Mr. C. G. Hodgkinshon, Ernest Smith, Royal Foeld Artillery, and Albert Smith, Oxford and Bucks. Light Infantry sons of Mr. William Smith, bootmaker. Mr Smith has also another son in the regular service, viz., Bandsman Archie Smith, 3rd King’s Royal Rifles.  The following have enlisted in Lord Kitchener’s New Army:- Fred Harrison, son of Mr. H. C. Harrison; Walter Nicholson, W Carpenter )Horbling). Frank Corn, W. Watson (Horbling), Harris Ellingworth (Horbling, W. Swin (Horbling), H. Kemp (G.N. railway clerk, Billingborough), W. Birch and W. H. and J. F. Pattinson (Stow), Mr. John Marshall, hairdresser, who saw active service in the South Africain war, has also been accepted. The Yeomanry ranks include Eric Barber, son of Ald. J. S. Barber, of Rookfield.  There are several others serving in the Regular Army.  The recruits mentioned are in addition to the lads – mostly farm hands – who enlisted on Monday night.


  • Grantham Journal Saturday 12th December 1914
    HOME FROM INDIA – Corporal Archie Smith, third son of Mr. William Smith, of Horbling, and who is in the band of the King’s Royal Rifles, has returned from India after an absence from this country of seven years. He has been home on short leave but returned on Wednesday to Winchester, where his regiment is temporarily stationed, prior to going into active service.


  • Grantham Journal Saturday 8th April 1916
    MUCH SYMPATHY IS extended to Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Smith in the death of their third son, Archie , who passed away this week, after a long and painful illness. Deceased who was 25 years of age, was a bandsman in the King’s Royal Rifles, and served about 7 years abroad, most being stationed in Crete, then going to Malta, and afterward to India, where he remained four years. He enjoyed umformly good health up to about three months of his returning to Engalnd, where he arrived about 15 months ago. Then he failed to stand the sudden change of temperature. After short leave at home, he rejoined his regiment, but he was never well, and he received his discharge from the Army less than a year ago. Since then he has remained with his parents at Horbling. He made an effort to undertake light work, but was obliged to give it up, and he has been confined to the house practically and courage, and passed peacefully away.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith have two other sons serving their country. Both joined Kitchener’s Army, and fighting in France.


  • Lincolnshire Echo Wednesday 27th September 1916
    On Monday last Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Smith of Horbling, received an official notification that their son, Pte. Albert Smith, Of the Oxford and Bucks, Light Infantry, had died at the Base Hospital, Rouen, from wounds received in action. The deepest sympathy is felt for the sorrowful parents, for quite recently another son, Driver Ernest Smith, of the R.F.A., was wounded in France and is now in a Lndon Convalescent Hospital. To add to their grief a third son, Bandsman Archie Smith, of the K.R.R., not long ago succumbed to an illness from which he suffered after returning with his regiment from India.


  • Stamford Mercury Friday 29th September 1916
    On Monday Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Smith, of this village, received an official communication that their youngest son priv. Albert Smith, of the Oxford and Bucks. Light Infantry, had died at the base hospital, Rouen, from wounds received in action.  They had previously received a communication stating that he had been wounded, but were not informed that his injuries were serious, so that the news came to them as a great shock.  The deepest sympathy is extended to the sorrowing family, for recently another son driver Ernesr Smith, of the R.F.A. was wounded in France, and is  now in a convalescent hospital near London.  A third son, Bandaman Archie Smith, of the K.R.R. not long ago succumed to an illness from which he had suffered after returning from India.


  • Grantham Journal Saturday 30th September 1916
    THE GREAT SACRIFICE – On Monday, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Smith received an official notification that their son – Lance-Corpl. A. Smith, Oxford and Bucks. Light Infantry, had died from wounds. In Wednesday the parents received a letter from the Matron of the Hospital stating that he passed peacefylly away on the 23rd inst., and that his grave will be marked by a cross.  Deceased was 23 years of age. They had previously received communication stating that he had been wounded.  The deepest sympathy is felt for the sorrowful parents, for quite recently another son Driver Ernest Smith, R.F.A., was wounded and is now in a London Convalescent Hospital. To add to their grief a third son Bandsman Archie Smith, of the K.R.R., not long ago succumbed to an illness after returning from India.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • None found

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects Left To

  • None found


  • The British Medal


  • UK:
  • Horbling, Roll of Honour in St Andrew’s Church


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • None found

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • Today we remember Horbling man Archie Smith who died on this day, 2nd April 1916 after being discharged as a Bandsman with the 3rd Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps.
    Archie was born on the 18th September 1889 in Billingborough and was baptised on the 13th October.. His parents were William Smith born in Morcott a bootmaker and shoe repairer and his wife Mary Ann who was born in Liverpool. Even though we can not find a marriage we believe that the couple had previously lived in Crowland before moving to Billingborough.
    They were to have six children:-
    • Mabel Smith, 1879, Crowland
    • Ethel Smith, 1881, Billingborough
    • Fred Smith, 1882, Billingborough
    • Ernest Smith, 1884, Billingborough
    • Archie Smith, 1889, Billingborough
    • Albert Smith, 1893, Horbling
    In 1891 Archie is living with his parents at 27 Vine street, Billingborough. Fther william is working as a Shoe Maker, it also states he is neither an employer or an employee, we assume self employed.. By 1901 the family had moved to Church View in Horbling where 52 year old William is now giving his occupation as a Bootmaker and is working on his own account. Fred is now working as a carpenter’s apprentice and 11 year old Archie and 8 year old Albert are living in the house along with mother Mary.
    In 1911 we find William and Mary still at Church View in Horbling. William is working as a bootmaker and repairer on his own account and sons Ernest and Albert are both working as farm labourers.
    Archie has now left home and he can be found on the 1911 census in Dagshai in India serving with the 3rd battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps. His rank is listed as Bandsman and aged 21.
    No military full service records for Archie have been found but his service number of 6983 would indicate that he joined the Army in 1906 probably when he was 16, serving as a bandsman.
    At the time of joining the Battalion they would have been stationed at Aldershot where they had ben since returning from Bermuda in 1905.
    The 3rd battalion was stationed in Crete in 1908 when two Companies of the Battalion arrived on the 28th June 1908 on the ship Somali. We know this included Archie Smith as various newspaper articles after his death mentioned that he had served in Crete. Those articles mentioned that he was abroad for seven year and so this would work as he returned to England in late 1914.
    After their time in Crete their next posting would be Malta. They embarked on the Braemar Castle on the 19th January 1909 and were stationed in the Verdala barracks in Cottonera on their arrival. They were stationed here until they were moved to St George’s Barracks on the 21st September.
    Whilst at St George’s Barracks there was a sudden outbreak of Paratyphoid in the 1st Suffolks stationed at the adjoining St Andrew’s Barracks. This outbreak spread to twelve other men and included one man from the KRRC in St George’s Barracks. The duration of the Pyrexia varied from 4 to 23 days.
    When their time in Malta was over the 3rd Battalion embarked on the Rewa on the 12th November 1910 arriving in Karachi thirteen days later.
    They were to stay in India for four years until the outbreak of war when they were based in Meerut. They were recalled to England and sailed out of Bombay on the 16th October 1914.
    The Battalion returned to England landing on the 19th December. Archie had a short leave before returning to his Battalion in Winchester on Wednesday 9th December 1914. His Battalion were temporarily stationed there awaiting orders to go into active service as part f the 80th Brigade in the 27th Division.
    The Battalion landed Le Havre on the 21st December 1914 but we think that it was without Archie Smith.
    Archie was eligible for the British War Medal but his medal card does not show eligibility for the Victory Medal. The Victory medal was for service in the field or theatre of War, whereas the British War Medal was issued for home service.
    Archie failed to stand the sudden change in temperature and became unwell. Even though he re-joined his battalion he was never well and would receive his discharge from the army on the 31st May 1915.
    He made attempts to undertake light work after his discharge but he was obliged to give it up. He had been practically confined to the family home, Church View Horbling, since Christmas 1915. He passed peacefully away on the 2nd April 1916. The official cause of death was inflammation of the intestines.
    Later that year Archie’s brother Ernest who was a driver in the RFA was wounded and was in a convalescent hospital in London when his parents heard the news that another son Albert had died of wounds whist serving with the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.
    Bandsman Archie Smith was buried in a family grave and is remembered on the Horbling memorial.
    Archie and his brother Albert both gave their lives because of the war and their mother Mary Ann Smith of Church View Horbling received a pension for them both up to her death in 1932.
    One note on Archie’s medal index card would indicate that his British War Mdal was returned.
    In memory of Bandsman Archie Smith who died as a result of military service during the great war on the 2nd April 1916, buried in Horbling and remembered on the Horbling War Memorial.
    More information for Archie Smith can be found on a page dedicated to him on our web site.
    We will remember them.


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