Courtesy of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Archives at Wrexham Museum
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Northop Memorial
Name / Enw: Smith, Tegid Eli Gad
Regiment/Catrawd: 1/5th Royal Wesh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Sergeant 240419 (previously 1349)
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Jerusalem Memorial
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panels 20 to 22
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Israel
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals
Date of Death: 26th March 2017
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed at Gaza 26th March 1917 aged 29.
Tegid was born in Northop in 1887. His father, James was a Yorkshire born collier and his mother Barbara had been born in Dorset. The census returns of 1891 and 1901 tell us that the first two children had been born in Lancashire and the rest in Northop so it was quite a travelled family. They lived in 4 Church Cottage in Northop in 1901. The children’s names and ages (in 1901) were as follows Sarah 23, Edith 21, Norah 18, Adelina 15, Tegid Eli 13, Florence Mary 7, James Henry 4 and Barbara V 1. Only the four youngest were still at home.
The 1911 census tells us that Tegid worked at the ironworks of John Summers and Son. (He was a ‘Checker’ in the Flat Mills) He was 23 and lived in CaernarvonTerrace with his parents James 53 a ‘disabled’ Coal Hewer and Barbara who was 52. There were three other children at home Adelina 25 yrs, Florence Mary Isobel 17yrs and James Henry 14yrs (an office boy at the iron works). The form tells us that Barbara Smith had given birth to 8 children in total but only 7 had survived. There is no mention of little Barbara in 1911 so presumably she is the one who died.
Tegid’s army service records show that he joined the 5th Bn of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in November 1913. Northop farmer Mr T Bateman testified on a form for the recruiting officer at that time that Tegid was a ‘sober and reliable person’. His call up was very early – before the war had actually started but his Attestation Papers signed in Mold in November 1913 state that he had previously served in the RWF so he was a reservist. His trade or calling was descibed as a foreman at the Iron Works of John Summers and Son.
He was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1914 and in August of 1915 entered his first theatre of war at Gallipoli. He then served in Egypt and was promoted to Corporal in February 1916 and about ten days later was promoted to Lance Sergeant. This became Acting Sergt -‘in the field’ two months later and finally he was promoted to Sergeant in August 1916. He was killed in action at Gaza on 26th March 1917.
Correspondence between Mr James Smith (Tegid’s father and next of kin) and the army shows that he took receipt and signed for Tegid’s possessions – belt with badges, letters, photos, 1 cigarette case and 1 prayer book. Later he took receipt and signed for his three medals
In Northop churchyard there is the grave of a seven month old baby who died in 1920. His name? Tegid Smith.
There is a connection between Tegid’s family and the family of another soldier named on the Memorial. Tegid’s sister Florence (Bell) Smith married James, the younger brother of Joseph Thelwell. She lived in Yacht Terrace, Northop until her death
Many thanks to Tegid’s niece Jan Clark who pointed out this connection to us.