Isaac and Lucinda’s sons of Fox Harbour served their King and Country

Reprinted by The Packet, August 9, 2018
by Lester Green

Levi and Timothy returned from the war but Timothy is tragically washed overboard from a schooner in 1934 off Cape St. Francis leaving behind his wife and family at Southport.

Isaac  and Lucinda (Stoyles) Smith’s two sons enlisted with the Royal Newfoundland Naval Reserve during the Great War.

Seaman Levi Smith. (photo courtesy of Lorraine Smith)

Levi married Mary Magdeline, daughter of John and Margaret Jackson, of Northern Bight in 1910. He had two children when he enlisted with the Royal Naval Reserve in February 5, 1913. He spent 28 days training and returned the following January to the HMS Calypso completing a combined total of 56 days of training.

Seaman Levi Smith received orders from the Admiralty to report to the HMS Calypso on August 4, 1914. While the majority of Southwest Arm sailors left the port of St. John’s on November 6 aboard the SS Franconia, he sailed 12 days later onboard the S.S. Carthaginian with several other sailors from the Southwest Arm area. He was assigned to HMS I Vivid, Devonport, England upon his arrival and served the next three years on vessels that were attached to this navy barracks.

He received leave sometime in the fall of 1916 and returned to his family in Fox Harbour to spend time with his wife and young daughters. He returned to the HMS Calypso that was now renamed HMS Briton. His new posting was to the HMS Caesar located at Bermuda. The HMS Caesar was part of North America and West Indies Squadron patrolling the Caribbean waters and providing escort to convoys in the region. He spent approximately 18 months at this facility before the ship returned to England in July, 1918. His final months overseas were spent at HMS Vivid III, Devonport. He was transferred to HMS Briton in January 1919 and received demobilization on April 1919.

Seaman Timothy Smith. (photo courtesy of Lorraine Smith)

Timothy enlisted one month after his brother Levi after arriving in St. John’s with two boys from Southport, Eucleus Lambert and Josiah Avery. He filed his application on March 1, 1913 and completed 28 days of naval training aboard the HMS Calypso. The following year, all three returned to the HMS Calypso and completed another 28 days of training.

On August 4, 1914, he received word by Royal Proclamation that he was to report to HMS Calypso. Unlike most other reservist from the Southwest Arm area, Seaman Timothy Smith was drafted to the Royal Canadian Navy and assigned to the HMCS Niobe. He became part of the 107 Newfoundland Reservist onboard the Niobe patrolling the waters of Strait of Belle Isle and as far south as New York and Boston States. When the ship’s boilers failed on the HMCS Niobe in July 1915, he was re-assigned to the HMS Calypso.

Five months later he was sent overseas and joined the HMS Victory. He would spend the next four years assigned to the shore bases at HMS Excellent, HMS President III, Victory I, and Vivid III respectively. He would have served on several Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (DAMS) but his records only indicate the shore based structures.

He returned to HMS Briton on March 29, 1919 and remained until his demobilization orders were given on May 12, 1919.

Seaman Levi Smith returned to his wife, Mary Magdeline, and his two children at Southport. He raised several children and passed away in March, 1970 and his buried next to his wife at the old Anglican Cemetery located between Gooseberry Cove and Southport.

Headstone of Timothy Smith

Seaman Timothy Smith returned to Southport and seven months later he married, Edna, the daughter of William James and Sarah (Puddister) Vey of Long Beach. After their wedding, they resided at Southport and welcomed their first child, Sarah, on October 20, 1920. Timothy lost his life at the age of 42 on December 14, 1934.

Ironically, he survived his wartime service on various British ships in German U-boats infested waters only to be washed overboard while attempting to complete a schooner voyage from Carbonear to St. John’s. His body was never recovered.

A memorial stone lies outside the St. Albany’s Church, Gooseberry Cove. It lies next to the cenotaph for three of our boys who made the supreme sacrifice – Seaman Luke Smith and Privates Richard Spurrell and John Lambert.

Seaman Levi Smith’s Naval Service Records. Source TRPAD_ GN 182.3

Seaman Timothy Smith’s Naval Service Records. Source TRPAD_ GN 182.3