Sir Smith Child, 2nd Baronet

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Sir Smith Hill Child
2nd Baronet
Born (1880-09-19)19 September 1880
Died 11 November 1958(1958-11-11)
Buried at Westbury, Shropshire
Allegiance British
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1900 - 1924
Rank Brigadier-General
Unit Royal Scots, Irish Guards
Commands held Territorial Army (United Kingdom), Royal Field Artillery
Battles/wars Second Boer War, First World War
Awards DSO, Croix de Guerre

Brigadier-General Sir Smith Hill Child, 2nd Baronet, GCVO CB CMG DSO (19 September 1880 – 11 November 1958) was an officer in the British Army and a Conservative Party politician.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Child was educated at Eton College and Christ Church College, Oxford.[1]

Military career[edit]

Child volunteered as a Second lieutenant for the Boer War, taking part in operations in the Transvaal in 1900 with the 3rd Battalion of The Royal Scots.[2] He was wounded, and returned to the United Kingdom during Christmas 1900.[3] In July 1901 he was commissioned into the regular army, as a second lieutenant in the Irish Guards. He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 March 1902,[4] and later the same year appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO).[5] He retired from Regular service in 1909 and was placed on the Reserve of Officers in 1910.[6] He was promoted Colonel and from the latter year until 1918 he commanded a Territorial formation, the 2nd North Midlands Brigade of Royal Field Artillery.[1]

He was in command when the brigade were mobilised in the First World War and served with them on the Western Front. He was awarded the DSO in 1916 and the French Croix de Guerre. In 1918 he was promoted Brigadier-General and was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) and, in 1919, Companion of the Bath (CB).[5]

He returned to Territorial service in command of 46 North Midlands Divisional Artillery from 1920 to 1924, followed by placing in the Regular Army Reserve of Officers.[1]

Political career[edit]

He was elected at the 1918 general election as Coalition Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Stone in Staffordshire, and held the seat until he stood down at the 1922 general election.

He was also DL and JP for the county of Staffordshire between 1912 and 1949, with an interval between 1938 and 1941,[1] as well as for the counties of London and Berkshire from 1936[7] until he retired from full-time royal service.

Royal Household Career[edit]

Child was appointed in 1927 Gentleman Usher in Ordinary in the Royal Household by King George V and promoted Deputy Master of the Household in 1929.[1] He became Master in the "Year of three kings", 1936, serving King George VI until he retired from the post in 1941, but remained from 1937 Extra-Equerry to the King and, from 1952, his successor Elizabeth II.[1]

He was appointed GCVO for his personal services to the Monarch and the Royal Household in 1941, having been previously CVO in 1934 and KCVO in 1937.[1] He also received during his service foreign honours:

Grand Commander, Order of St Olav of Norway.
Commander of the Legion of Honour of France.
Commander of the Order of the Crown of Belgium.
Commander of the Order of the Crown of Romania.
Commander of the Order of Al Rafidain of Iraq.[1]

He inherited the baronetcy on the death of his grandfather, who had also been a Conservative MP. The title became extinct on his death in 1958, aged 78. He had made his last home at Whitton Hall in Shropshire by 1948[8] and was buried in the parish churchyard at nearby Westbury.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kelly's Handbook, 1957. Kelly's. p. 478. 
  2. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 1949. Burke's Peerage Ltd. p. 403. 
  3. ^ "The War - Invalids returning home" The Times (London). Saturday, 29 December 1900. (36338), p. 8.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27430. p. 2935. 2 May 1902.
  5. ^ a b Who Was Who, 1951-1960. A and C Black. 1961. p. 207. 
  6. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1913. Kelly's. p. 373. 
  7. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1939. Kelly's. p. 446. 
  8. ^ Kelly's Handbook, 1948. Kelly's. p. 458. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Stone
Succeeded by
Joseph Lamb
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Smith Child
(of Newfield )
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lord Claud Nigel Hamilton
Deputy Master of the Household
Succeeded by
Ririd Myddleton
Preceded by
Derek Keppel
Master of the Household
Succeeded by
Sir Piers Legh