King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Smart, Eric Douglas

Second Lieutenant ▪ 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Eric Douglas Smart, born on 10th October 1892, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1903. The youngest of three sons, he lived with his father, William, a ham and bacon curer, his mother, Sarah, and his two brothers at 14, Pakenham Road, Edgbaston. By 1911, the family had moved to ‘Forest Lodge’, 32, Mayfield Road, Moseley.

As part of the Upper Modern Sixth Class, Eric studied a primarily scientific, rather than classical, curriculum. The School Lists indicate that he was a below average student, with his highest class placing being 12th out of 20 in Latin and English. After leaving School, Eric worked in the Moseley branch of Lloyds Bank as a clerk.

At the outbreak of war, Eric joined the 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, as a Private Soldier and was sent to the Western Front in November 1915. In August 1916, he was promoted from the ranks and obtained his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. On 18th November 1916, his father sent him a heartfelt letter in which he expressed his grave concern for Eric’s welfare and his longing for them to meet again before Christmas. Eric was killed that day, aged twenty-four, taking part in the final attack in the Battle of the Somme. The letter was returned with the stark word, ‘MISSING’, stamped on the front of the envelope. His body was never recovered, but he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Eric left his estate of £1,803 to his father.