838182 Pte. John Smit, was born Johannes Wilhelm Terpstra, on May 18th, 1891, in Sneek (in the province of Friesland), in the Netherlands.

The son of Jelle and Tjamkje (neé Smit) Terpstra, Johannes, a farmer by occupation, was living in Kepple, Cruickshank, Ontario, when he attested as John Smit into the 147th (Grey) Battalion, in Owen Sound on December 4th, 1915. His parents were living in Apeldoorn (in the province of Gelderland) at the time of his signing on.

With previous military experience stated as three years drill in the Netherlands, John Smit served with the 147th BN until transferred to the 4th CMR on February 8th, 1917, where he joined the regiment during a period of training following their front line action at Ecurie.

April 9th was the start of the 4th CMR's action in the Battle for Vimy Ridge, and sadly, John was one of the many lost that day. He was 25 years of age.

Erroneously listed as Smith on his records and his headstone, the CWGC was informed, and his records (both Canadian and British sources) now reflect the family name of Smit. If it has not already done so, his headstone details will follow in due course.

Private John Smit lies at rest in Thelus Military Cemetery, located near the village of Thelus, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.

Biography credit with thanks to Linda Heffernan and Johannes' neice, Jennette (neé Terpstra) Spicer.

Headstone image supplied by Linda Heffernan, with source and credit to J. Stephen 2010.