Grandparents and parents
Gordon’s father was James Alma Smith, son of William and Mary Smith of Ledbury. William was born about 1827 in Castlemorton, Worcestershire. Mary was born about 1822 in Ledbury. William was a grocer and in 1861 they had 3 children, James Alma, born in 1855, William, born about 1858, and Emma, born about 1859. James Alma Smith was born in Ledbury and baptised there on 4 March 1855. James was a railway telegraph worker. In 1881 he was lodging with other railway workers at 30 Cooperative St, Derby. Louisa Wilhemina Schulze was born in 1855 in Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany. James and Louisa married in Chorlton in 1891. In 1891 they lived at 10 Ruby St, Chorlton-on-Medlock but by 1901 they had moved to 9 North St, Didsbury. James died on 19 October 1901, leaving £82 to his widow. Louisa moved to 16 Beaufort Avenue, West Didsbury, where she remained until her death. She died at 20 Nell Lane and was buried in Southern Cemetery (H 1094) on 6 August 1927. She left £126 19s 2d to her son, James Fred Smith.
James and Louisa had 7 children but we can identify only 6. The eldest, born in Chorlton about 1891, seems to have been variously known as James, Fritz James or James Fred. In 1911 he was a cellarman. Minnie was born in Chorlton about 1892 and in 1911 was a draper’s assistant. Marie was born in Chorlton about 1893. Rudolf Smith was born in 1894 in Didsbury. Gordon was born in 1895 in Didsbury and Dorothy Hilda about 1901, also in Didsbury.
Gordon was born in Didsbury in 1895. In 1911 he was an office boy in a telephone works. He became a lance corporal in D Company, 17th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, service number 32381. He was recruited on 23 November 1915 in Manchester. On enlistment he was noted to have carious molars in the lower jaw. He was 19 and a draughtsman. He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France from 8 July 1916. He died of his wounds in Belgium on 4 December 1917 and is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France, grave number III. E. 45.
His effects, passed to his mother, included wallet, letters, cards, testament, 2 spectacle cases and 1 pair of spectacles.