King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Smith, George Morley

Second Lieutenant ▪ 10th Battalion, Leicester Regiment

George Morley Smith, born on 16th September 1895, was admitted to King Edward’s School on 20th September 1910 as a Foundation Scholar, having transferred from King Edward’s Five Ways where he had studied for six years. He lived with his father, Charles, a retail fruiterer, his mother, Emily, and his three siblings at 118, Dale End, Birmingham.

George performed extremely well at School, coming top of his class across all his subjects in his final two years, and winning the class prize both times. Despite being a pupil of the Modern School, studying a scientific, rather than a classical, curriculum, he came top of his class in Latin four years in a row. Described as “a light but energetic forward”, he won his colours for the 2nd XV rugby team, occasionally playing for the 1st XV as a substitute. In his final year at School, George was the Chess Secretary and was congratulated for “turning up every evening to look after practice sessions”.

On leaving School, George was awarded an Exhibition to study at the University of Birmingham. Following the outbreak of war, he enlisted as a Private Soldier with the 13th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. George obtained his commission in August 1916 as a Second Lieutenant with the 10th Battalion, Leicester Regiment, before being posted to France. He fought in and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, after which he became an Intelligence Officer. George was wounded again on 5th October 1917, near Polygon Wood, and died the following day at No. 11 Casualty Clearing Station, aged twenty-two. He is buried at Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, France, and is commemorated on a memorial stone in St Mary’s churchyard, Handsworth. George left his estate of £253 to his father.