A Stationery Craftsman
Craftsman Robert Edward K Smith Royal Engineers & Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers
The Man Only basic biographical information is available about Robert Edward K Smith, who was born on 25th September 1916 in Hellingbourne, Kent, son of Edward Thomas and Elizabeth Ann nee Butler. His religion was Church of England. Upon leaving school Robert became a Paper Worker and on 3rd August 1938 aged 21 enlisted into Royal Engineers, Territorial Army in Aylesford as a Sapper and with service number 2055706. He was described as 5’ 10½” tall, weighing 130lbs, a chest of 36”, fair complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. On 26th September 1938 he formally embodied into the 314th Kent Anti-Aircraft Company RE at the Drill Hall in London Road, Ditton. During the next five years he attended various electrical fitters courses and on 14th October 1943 was transferred to the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers as a Craftsman. On 5th April 1944 however he failed a vital course and was removed from the trade group and reclassified General Duties as a Driver Mechanic. His category of fitness was described as A1 and he received the usual inoculations for tetanus and typhoid. Robert married Gwendoline Alice Heskett at Canterbury on 26th September 1942 and they had one son, Peter Alan Smith born on 24th September 1943. Robert’s home address was given as “Talmaj” Bungalow, Bell Lane, Ditton, Maidstone, Kent and later 6 Gordon Villas, Gordon Road, Margate. Robert served in the UK during the entire war and on 4th December 1945 was awarded the Efficiency Medal ‘Territorial’ appearing in Army Order 160/45and subsequently the Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-45. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on 12th March 1946 and upon discharge his Commanding Officer gave his service as Very Good and described Robert as “A good type of man and a very good driver. A reliable workman who can be trusted to work well without supervision. Honest and conscientious”. No other information is known about Robert except that he lived 87 Belmont Road, Westgate On Sea and died during the first quarter of 1979 aged just 63 and survived by Gwendoline who died during the first quarter of 2001 aged 78.
The Story The group of medals awarded to Robert Edward K Smith were acquired from E-Bay 5th December 2014 and of interest because of the photographs, ephemera and paperwork relating to the recipient that came with them. A check of Ancestry.UK and the papers with the medals allowed a brief biography to be pieced together. Much detail of Robert Smith’s life is clearly unavailable, but at least he will now be remembered for posterity.
- Defence Medal: Unnamed as issued.
- War Medal 1939-45: Unnamed as issued.
- Efficiency Medal: 12055706 CRMN. R.E.K.SMITH. R.E.M.E.
This page last updated 15 Dec 14