Boer War Rhodesia and Great War 1919 Order of Saint Michael and Saint George and 1917 Distinguished Service Order group awarded to Lieutenant Colonel R.R. Smyth, C.M.G., D.S.O

London Medal Company Boer War Rhodesia and Great W.

The superb Boer War Rhodesia and Great War 1919 Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George and 1917 Distinguished Service Order group awarded to Lieutenant Colonel R.R. Smyth, C.M.G., D.S.O., Leinster Regiment, who was one of only two men from the Leinster's to receive the Rhodesia clasp to the Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902, being then five times Mentioned in the Great War, having seen service in France from 12th September 1914, being from 1916 with the 63rd Royal Naval Division.   

Group of 8: Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Companion, C.M.G., neck badge, silver-gilt and enamels; Distinguished Service Order, GVR cypher, silver-gilt and enamels, complete with top brooch bar; Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902, 4 Clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Rhodesia; (LIEUT. R.R. SMYTH. LEINS. RGT.); King's South Africa Medal 1901-1902, 2 Clasps: South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902; (LIEUT. R.R. SMYTH. LEINS. RGT.); 1914 Star with Clasp; (CAPT: R.R. SMYTH. LEINS:R.); British War Medal and Victory Medal with Mentioned in Despatches Oakleaf; LT.COL. R.R. SMYTH.); Republic of France: Medal of Honour with crossed Swords, gilt issue, unnamed as issued.

Condition: slight flaking to enamel wreath on second, overall Good Very Fine.

Robert Riversdale Smyth was born on 8th December 1875 in Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland, the third son of Percy Smyth, of Head'borough Tallow, County Waterford, and Monatrea, Yougal, County Cork. Smyth was educated at Charterhouse. and was then appointed as a Gentleman Cadet to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1900, being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Prince of Wale's Leinster Regiment - the Royal Canadians, on 5th January 1901, and very shortly afterwards as a member of the 3rd Battalion, Leinster Regiment, was posted aboard the transport Kildonian Castle at Southampton on 7th March 1900, and then sailed via Queenstown for the Cape, travelling together with his battalion of 500 men.

Smyth went on to see service on operations in the Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal, and was then one of only two men from the Leinster Regiment to go on to receive the Rhodesia clasp to his Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902, having caught the tail end of these operations which ceased on 17th May 1900, Smyth was at the time employed as a Railway Staff Officer with this role lasting from 8th April through to 6th September 1900. It should be noted that whilst his service history does indicate his presence in Rhodesia, the medal roll and the biographical war services in both Services of Military Officers 1920 and the V.C. and D.S.O. book by Sir O'Moore Creagh and E.M. Humphris, mention only three clasps to his Q.S.A.

Having been promoted to temporary Lieutenant on 4th January 1901, remained on operational service in South Africa through to September 1902, Smyth was posted home with his Battalion, being then posted for attachment to the West African Frontier Force in Sierra Leone from November 1904 through to July 1909, though he did not see any operational service during this period. During a period of leave from Sierra Leone, Smyth succeeded in marrying Evelyn Irene Martelli at Fermoy in Ireland on 9th April 1906. Posted home from Sierra Leone in July 1909, he was then on service at home through to 7th October 1909, being then finally promoted to Lieutenant on 1st April 1910, and to Captain in October 1910, after which he was appointed Superintendent of the Detention Barracks at Cork on 16th November 1911.           

With the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914, Smyth who was at the time serving with the 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment, saw service as a Staff Officer on attachment to the 6th Divisional Headquarters in France from 12th September 1914, being Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished service with the Staff, the award being published in the London Gazette on 15th June 1916, being then promoted to Major and again Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished service on 15th May 1917, and awarded the Distinguished Service Order in the London Gazette for 4th June 1917. Smyth served as Brigade Major of the 108th Brigade from 18th January 1915 through to 28th May 1916, being then appointed Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General of the 63rd Royal Naval Division from 29th May 1916 through to 1st August 1918, being then appointed Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General of the 63rd Royal Naval Division from 2nd August 1918. Smyth was additionally Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette for 20th May 1918, and on 20th December 1918, and 5th July 1919, in all five times Mentioned in Despatches. Smyth was ultimately awarded the Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on 3rd June 1919. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Smyth died in mid 1946.

13 June 2017