Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Stainland, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

General information


Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 49th Bn. (Edmonton)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Bridge House, Langemark, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Smith Hindle a native of Stainland who was killed in action on 30th October 1917 serving with the 49th Canadian Infantry. On his enlistment papers into the Canadian Army he gave his date of birth as 12th September 1884 and his next of kin as his sister, Mrs Tasker, of 239 Willow Mount, Bairstow Lane, Sowerby. Smith was in fact born in 1876 some 7 years earlier than the date claimed on the enlistment papers. In the 1881 census 14-year-old Smith Hindle is recorded as living at Northgate, Holywell Green with his mother, Emma and his sisters, Mary and Hannah. He was employed as a cotton piecer. In 1901 Smith, aged 24, was living with his now married sister, Mary Tasker and her family at Bairstow Lane, Sowerby Bridge. His employment was given as cart driver. In September 1910, Smith made headlines. In view of his marriage, Smith had furnished a house, and all arrangements had been made for a wedding. But he got cold feet and disappeared after attending a Halifax-Dewsbury football match, missing an appointment with his sweetheart to buy a ring. His disappearance was reported to the police and made headlines as far away as Dundee, Scotland. In 1911, Smith, still single, resurfaced, still living with his married sister's family in Bairstow Lane and his occupation had changed to insurance agent for the Prudential. Smith emigrated to Canada soon after, arriving in Quebec on 19 May 1911. On 9 July 1915, Smith enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Edmonton, Alberta, giving up his age. He embarked for France in June 1916, where he was assigned to the 49th Battalion (Edmonton), part of the 7th Canadian Brigade, of the 3rd Canadian Division.

In October 1917, all four Canadian divisions were moved to Flanders; they were chosen to storm the Passchendaele heights. A first Canadian attack took place on 26 October and a second followed on 30 October. At 10 to 6, the 3rd and 4th divisions went on the attack again. The battered battalions that had shared in the blows on the first day had been withdrawn. The 3rd division attacked with the 8th brigade on the left and the 7th brigade on the right. From Bellevue, they moved up a spur of the Passchendaele ridge. To Goudberg and Meetcheele, northwest of Passchendaele. Bellevue's 7th Brigade advanced towards Meetcheele. Two battalions led the attack: the Patricia's on the right and the 49th Battalion on the left. The condition of the terrain played tricks on the Canadians. The 49th moved towards Fürst Farm. Before the attack began, the battalion was hit by friendly fire. German artillery also shelled the battalion at their starting positions. Fürst Farm was taken, but further advance over open and muddy terrain was almost impossible. One by one, the men fell prey to German snipers. The 49th suffered heavy losses. 567 and 21 officers went into the line. After the operation on 30 October 1917, 118 other ranks and eight officers were killed, 280 men and eight officers were wounded and 29 men were reported missing that day. This number would increase during the remainder of the war. Today, a total of 122 men of the 49th who fell on 30 October 1917 have no known grave. During the 'Names in the Landscape' project, we managed to locate 39 of these wargraves. Most of them between Bellevue and Meetcheele.

Smith was buried south of St Julien and east of the hamlet of Wieltje, through which the 49th Battalion moved to the front. Although Smith's death was not reported in the newspapers, his family arranged for his name to be included on the monument at Stainland (Wesleyan) Methodist Church. The monument was saved by Alan Stansfield, of the Halifax Military History Society, when the church was demolished. After spending some time in his garden shed, it is now on display at Bowling Green School.

Files 6

Newspaper Article

Bradford Daily Telegraph - Tuesday 27 September 1910

Newspaper Article

Dundee Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 28 September 1910

Newspaper Article

Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 28 September 1910


Sources 6

Canada, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 (Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa (LAC), Series: RG 76-C; Roll: T-4775).
Sources used
Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 4379 - 8).
Sources used
Robert Hamilton, Halifax Military History Society, personal communication, 17 April 2023.
Sources used
War diaries: 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4940, Microfilm reel number: T-10747, File number: 440).
Sources used
War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Death (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG 150, 1992-93/314; Volume Number: 192).
Sources used
War Graves Registry: Commonwealth War Graves (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC): RG150, 1992-1993/314, Box 39-244; Box: 79).
Sources used