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 • Dacorum Borough
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Lady Olive Crofton Schneider Smith-Dorrien
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Birth: 1881
Greater London, England
Death: Sep. 15, 1951
Greater London, England

Daughter of Colonel John Henry Augustus Schneider and Mary Elizabeth (Crofton) Schneider.

Sister of Henry Crofton Schneider Crofton and Major Cyril Crofton Schneider Crofton.

Wife of General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, GCB, KCMG, DSO. They married on 3 September 1902 in Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire.

Mother of Brigadier Grenfell Horace Gerald Smith-Dorrien, DSO; Brigadier Peter Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, OBE, DSO; and David Pelham (a.k.a. "David Bromley") Smith-Dorrien.

She tirelessly campaigned for funds to help wounded British servicemen, both during and after the First World War. In 1916, she was invested a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

Obituary from "The Times," Monday, 17 September 1951 reads as follows:

"Lady Smith-Dorrien

Lady Smith-Dorrien, D.B.E., widow of Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.S.O., died at her home in London on Saturday.

She was Olive Crofton, daughter of Colonel John Schneider, of Furness Abbey, Lancashire, and her marriage took place in 1902. When war broke out in 1914 and her husband organized the masterly withdrawal of II Corps from Mons she felt that she could not remain inactive. A notable needlewoman herself, she inspired a devoted band of women to make bags for the reception of wounded men's possessions so that the contents could be cared for and preserved in hospital, and through the medium of her Hospital Bag Fund provided for British and colonial troops some five million bags. Her services were recognized in 1916 by her creation as a D.B.E. The Hospital Bag Fund, however was by no means the sum of her war-time activities, for as president of the Blue Cross she did much to alleviate the sufferings of the horses which were largely used for military purposes in the 1914-18 war, and for her services in that field she received the gold medal of the Reconnaissance Francaise.

After her husband's tragic death in a road accident in 1930, she bravely set out to make her life anew; in 1932 she became Principal of the Royal School of Needlework and remained in the post until last year. The many notable exhibitions held at the school in that period were largely due to her untiring effort and in 1937 she was awarded the Coronation medal for work done in Westminster Abbey, which included the splendid work on the canopy held over the King and Queen during their anointment and the Queen's coronation robe and train.

As soon as war broke out again she reorganized her Hospital Bag Fund and offered her services to the War office and the Red Cross and the fund again came into operation in 1940. Soon afterwards she became chairman of the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmens' Families Association Central Clothing Depot, and president of the clothing branch of the Officers' Families Fund. On the suggestion of Mrs. Samuel Guiness and helped by the generosity of donors, she organized the sale of many beautiful and historic pieces of lace, the proceeds of which were used to provide garments for expectant mothers and layettes, cots, and perambulators for the families of junior officers of the services. The deaths of two of her three sons, one on active service in Italy in 1944 and the other in the bomb outrage at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, did not daunt her, though she felt her loss deeply and she continued her beneficent activities until ill-health compelled her to retire last year."

Requiescat in pace. 
Family links: 
  John Henry Augustus Schneider (1843 - 1912)
  Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien (1858 - 1930)
  Grenfell Horace Gerald Smith-Dorrien (1904 - 1944)*
  Peter Lockwood Smith-Dorrien (1907 - 1946)*
  David Pelham Smith-Dorrien (1911 - 2001)*
  Olive Crofton Schneider Smith-Dorrien (1881 - 1951)
  Cyril Crofton Schneider Crofton (1887 - 1939)*
*Calculated relationship
Rectory Lane Cemetery
Dacorum Borough
Hertfordshire, England
Created by: wildgoose
Record added: Dec 14, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32169830
Lady Olive Crofton <i>Schneider</i> Smith-Dorrien
Added by: wildgoose
Lady Olive Crofton <i>Schneider</i> Smith-Dorrien
Cemetery Photo
Added by: geoffrey gillon
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