11 September 2011

Victoria Cross: C. L. Smith


Lieutenant, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry; attached Somali Mounted Infantry

Born: 17 January 1878, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Died: 14 December 1927, Alassio, Italy

Citation: At the commencement of the fight at Jidballi, on 10th January, 1904, the enemy made a very sudden and determined rush on the 5th Somali Mounted Infantry, from under cover of bushes close at hand. They were supported by rifle fire, advanced very rapidly and got right amongst our men.
Lieutenant Smith, Somali Mounted Infantry, and Lieutenant J. K. Welland, M.D., Royal Army Medical Corps, went out to the aid of Hospital Assistant Eahamat Ali, who was wounded, and endeavoured to bring him out of action on a horse, but the rapidity of the enemy's advance rendered this impossible, and the Hospital Assistant was killed. Lieutenant Smith then did all that any man could do to bring out Doctor Welland, helping him to mount a horse, and, when that was shot, a mule. This also was hit, and Doctor Welland was speared by the enemy. Lieutenant Smith stood by Doctor Welland to the end, and when that Officer was killed, was within a few paces of him, endeavouring to keep off the enemy with his revolver. At that time the dervishes appeared to be all round him, and it was marvellous that he escaped with his life.

[London Gazette issue 27683 dated 7 Jun 1904, published 7 Jun 1904.]

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