Eckington’s first fallen soldier in World War One will be remembered

Eckington war memorial.
Eckington war memorial.

The first Eckington soldier killed in World War One will be remembered 100 years after his death.

A short service of remembrance will take place at the town’s St Peter and St Paul’s Church on Saturday, March 7 to pay tribute to Private George Smith.

The service will start at 11am after the tolling of a bell.

At the age of 41, private Smith, whose mother lived at St John Hill, Eckington, signed up as a reservist in the York and Lancaster Regiment on August 31, 1914 – just a few weeks after war was declared.

Private Smith died in hospital at Newcastle on March 7, 1915 – just 189 days after signing up – of bronchitis and other ailments.

A church spokesman said: “Everyone, especially any descendants of George’s family, are invited to join us in this celebration of his life.”

Private Smith is named on the Eckington war memorial. Similar services will be held for all those named on the memorial who died during the war if the date of their death is know.