Smyth, David John (No. 18803)

Smyth, David John


No. 18803, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 18)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Comber and District War Memorial (as Smyth)

Second Comber Presbyterian Church (as Smith)


In some records, his surname is spelt Smith, for example, the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database, the 1901 and 1911 Census returns, Dundonald Presbyterian Church and Second Comber Presbyterian Church.

In some records, his surname is spelt Smyth, for example, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website, Comber and District War Memorial and the Newtownards Chronicle.

David John Smyth was born on 22 August 1897 in Bridge Street, Comber and he was a son of Hugh and Anna Bella Smyth (nee Rea) who were married on 5 September 1895 in Dundonald Presbyterian Church.  Hugh Smyth (aged 20) from Ballyrickard was a son of Samuel Smyth, a labourer.  Anna Bella Rea from Comber was a daughter of John Rea, a farmer.

The Smyth family lived in Crescent, Comber and in Bridge Street, Comber.

Hugh Smyth worked as a distillery labourer and he and Anna Bella had at least eight children including:

Mary Anne (Minnie, born 10 May 1896 in Crescent, Comber)

David John (born 22 August 1897 in Bridge Street, Comber)

James Martin (born 23 June 1899 in Bridge Street, Comber)

Margaret Jane (born 6 June 1901 in Bridge Street, Comber)

Isabella (born 7 October 1903 in Bridge Street, Comber)

Hugh (born 28 July 1905 in Bridge Street, Comber)

Elizabeth (born 16 April 1907 in Bridge Street, Comber)

David John Smyth enlisted in Comber, he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 18 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Initially Rifleman David John Smyth (No. 18803) was posted as missing in action and then in February 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action.

Rifleman David John Smyth (No. 18803) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Comber and District War Memorial (as Smyth) and in Second Comber Presbyterian Church (as Smith).