Tom was born in Beverley the 9 May 1892, the son of Samuel and Rachel Smelt. In 1913 he married Maggie Spivey and they had three children.
Tom enlisted early in the war and had arrived in France on 18 April 1915, serving with the 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, the “Beverley Terriers.
He was killed in action on 23 April 1917, during the 2nd Battle of the Scarpe, part of the wider Battle of Arras. His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the War and Victory Medals.
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