top of page

Reginald Clayton Smith

Samuel Moffatt's Fallen Soldier

Reginald Clayton Smith

Reginald Smith was a Lance Corporal in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Smith was from Richards Landing, a small town outside of St Sault Marie Ontario. Smith was only 22 years of age when he was killed in action. Smith was survived by his father; Herbert Emerson Smith and his 6 siblings. 3 brothers; Emerson, Mansel, and Howard, and his 3 sisters; Murdoch, Lindsay, and Edith. Reginald’s mother predeceased him in 1939.

Smith was killed in action during Operation Atlantic. The objective of operation was
to capture the town of Caen France. Operation Atlantic commenced on July 18th and
concluded on July 22nd. The operation was largely led by Canadian forces and was
initially seen as successful in start after defeating 200 soldiers and capturing 600
prisoners. Germany would soon send reinforcements to strengthen their defenses in
Caen. Operation Atlantic was ultimately deemed as a failure and other battle plans
were drawn up to restructure the attack on German forces. The culmination of
subsequent operations would result in the successful capture of Caen and be called the
Battle of Verrieres Ridge. During the battle, over 2,600 Canadian casualties were

L/Cpl Smith was described as bravely leading his team into action to take a crucial
position on the ridge before he was fatally wounded. Reginald Smith is 1 of 2,048
burials in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. Smith’s grave reference is XVI.
H. 10. Reginald Smith enlisted in June 1940 and was oversees contributing to the war
efforts since July 9, 1941. His service number was B/67964. Smith landed in
Normandy with the Queen’s Own Rifles on D-Day and was described as heroic and
lead his men gallantly and courageously.

Although there are no pictures of Reginald Smith on the internet, an article in the
newspaper captured his personality by highlighting his death notification letter. The
letter was sent by his units Padre, Chaplain John Stewart. Of note, Chaplain Stewart
and Reginald were familiar with each other as Reginald was involved as the Anglican
Minister on St Josephs Island before the war during 1937-1940. Both men would later
run into and recognize each other during the war efforts. Chaplain Stewart
memorialized his interaction with L/Cpl Smith the day prior to his death in a letter
sent to his younger brother Emmerson. In addition to his bravery, Reginald Smith was
described as having a great personality and being admired by his comrades.

bottom of page