Roll of Honour

Douglas Wilson-Smith

Douglas Wilson-Smith was born in the second quarter of 1919 in the West Ham registration district of London.

His mother gave all her children the middle name Wilson as a means of giving them a doubled barrelled surname. Whilst Douglas is remembered on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website as Douglas Wilson-Smith he is remembered at Felsted as D.W. Smith.

He was the son of Major Percy Philip Oscar Smith and Vera Smith (nee Wilson) who were married in 1911 in the West Ham registration district. Mrs Vera Smith lived in Felsted during and after the war.

The baptism register for Holy Cross Church shows that Douglas was baptised aged 16 on 13th March 1935. He was baptised with another group of adults possibly as a preparation for their confirmations.

Douglas was educated at Felsted School.

The Felsted School archive records:

Douglas Smith was always full of zest for the excitements of life. He showed this in swimming, hockey, football and especially in boxing, where he delighted in a rough and tumble. Had he stayed on a little longer he might have exceeded the efforts of his two elder brothers. On leaving, he went to Crompton's in Chelmsford, doing the daily journey on his motor bicycle. During the illness, and after the death, of his father, he proved himself a perpetual help and comfort to his mother. He served out East and in Sicily, where he was unfortunately the victim of a mine.

The Essex Chronicle of 9th August 1940 reported a happy social occasion in the life of the Smith family:


 The marriage took place on Aug. 2 at St. James, Sussex Gardens, of second Lieutenant R.S. Wilson-Smith, Royal Engineers, son of the late Major P.P.O. Smith and of Mrs. Percy Smith of Buck Croft, Felsted, and Miss Jane Brodrick, daughter of Viscountess Dunsford and of the late Mr. George J. Gould. The Rev. J.F. Mcdonald officiated. The bride, who was given away by Viscount Dunsford wore a gown of heavy ivory satin fashioned on semi-Victorian lines the close-fitting bodice buttoned at the back and a full skirt extended to form a slight train. Her long veil of ivory tulle was surmounted by a wreath of stephanotis, and she carried a bouquet of deep red roses. Mr Douglas Wilson-Smith, R.E. was best man to his brother. The reception was held at 17 Hyde Park Gardens, (the residence of Viscount and Viscountess Dunsford).

Douglas Wilson-Smith served as a Lieutenant with 223 Field Company of the Royal Engineers. 

He died aged 24 on 14th August 1943 during Operation Husky, the Allied Invasion of Sicily.

He is remembered on the Cassino Memorial in Italy, The Felsted War Memorials and in the Churchyard at Holy Cross Church, Felsted on his father's headstone.