Advertisement

Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth

Advertisement

Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth

Birth
Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Death 21 Jul 1941 (aged 72)
Balmoral, Southern Grampians Shire, Victoria, Australia
Burial Balmoral, Southern Grampians Shire, Victoria, Australia
Memorial ID 11841991 View Source
Suggest Edits

British Army Major General, Sudanese War Victoria Cross Recipient. Born into a prominent English family, his father was a respected geologist. He received his education at Westminster School in London, England and attended the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England, graduating in 1888. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and assigned to the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) in India. In 1896 he was transferred to Cairo, Egypt and the following year he was promoted to the rank of captain. On September 2, 1898, at the Battle of Omdurman near Khartoum, Sudan, he killed a dervish, in spite of being severely wounded, who was attempting to kill two war correspondents and was awarded the Victoria Cross two months later for his gallantry. His citation reads: "THE Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Private Soldier, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty's approval, for their conspicuous bravery during the recent operations in the Soudan, [sic] as recorded against their names: 2nd Dragoon Guards, Captain Nevill Maskelyne Smyth. At the Battle of Khartum on 2 September 1898, Captain Smyth galloped forward and attacked an Arab who had run amok among some camp followers. Captain Smyth received the Arab's charge, and killed him, being wounded with a spear in the arm whilst in so doing. He thus saved the life of at least one of the Camp Followers." In 1902 he saw action in the 2nd Boer War in South Africa, and in October 1903 he was promoted to the rank of major and assigned to the Carabiniers (6th Dragoon Guards) in India and received a promotion to lieutenant colonel. After returning to England in 1912 he was reassigned to the Sudan. In May 1915, during World War I, he was assigned to Gallipoli, Turkey where he commanded the 1st Australian Infantry Brigade as a temporary brigadier general and participated at the Battle of Lone Pine (August 1915). The following year he was transferred to the Western Front in France and commanded the 2nd Australian Division at the rank of temporary major general and saw combat at the Battle of Pozieres (July to September 1916), the Battle of Mouquet Farm (August to September 1916), the 2nd Battle of Bullecourt (May 1917), and the Battle of Passchendaele (July to November 1917). In May 1918 he was transferred back to the British Army and commanded several divisions until he retired in July 1924 with 36 years of military service. Other than the Victoria Cross, his military awards and honors include the Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the French Légion d'honneur, the Egyptian Order of the Medjidie, the Egyptian Order of Osmanieh, and was mentioned in dispatches (one whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which is described the soldier's gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy) on 11 occasions. He then emigrated to Australia and became a farmer in Balmoral, Victoria and unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Australian Senate as a member of the National Party of Australia. He died at the age of 72.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


Family Members


Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth?

Current rating:

31 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Sep 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11841991
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/11841991/nevill-maskelyne-smyth : accessed ), memorial page for Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth (14 Aug 1868–21 Jul 1941), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11841991, citing Balmoral Cemetery, Balmoral, Southern Grampians Shire, Victoria, Australia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .