Clement Leslie Smith

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Clement Leslie Smith
Clement Leslie Smith VC.jpg
Brigadier General Clement Smith
Born(1878-01-17)17 January 1878
Romsey, Hampshire, England
Died14 December 1927(1927-12-14) (aged 49)
Alassio, Italy
English Cemetery, Alassio
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
RankBrigadier General
UnitDuke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Commands heldImperial Camel Corps Brigade
Battles/warsFourth Somaliland Expedition
Second Boer War
First World War
AwardsVictoria Cross
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches
Order of the Nile (Egypt)

Brigadier General Clement Leslie Smith, VC, MC (17 January 1878 – 14 December 1927) was a British Army officer and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Military career[edit]

Smith was commissioned into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry as a second lieutenant on 5 May 1900, and the following year served in South Africa as a Railway Staff officer during the Second Boer War.[1] After the end of the war (in June 1902), he was promoted to lieutenant on 9 August 1902,[2] and left South Africa for England on the SS Simla in October that year.[3]

Details on Victoria Cross[edit]

Smith was 25 years old, serving in the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, attached to the 5th Somaliland Light Infantry during the Fourth Somaliland Expedition when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 10 January 1904 at the commencement of the fight at Jidballi, British Somaliland, Lieutenant Smith and a medical officer tried to rescue a hospital assistant who was wounded. The rapidity of the enemy's fire, however, made this impossible and the hospital assistant was killed. Lieutenant Smith then did all that was possible to bring out the medical officer, helping him to mount a horse and, when this was shot, a mule. This animal also was shot and the medical officer was killed, but the lieutenant stayed with him to the end, trying to keep off the enemy with his revolver.[4]

Later career[edit]

Smith later advanced to the rank of brigadier general. During the First World War he commanded the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade based in Egypt.

The medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry Museum in Bodmin, Cornwall, England.


  1. ^ Hart′s Army list, 1902
  2. ^ "No. 27472". The London Gazette. 9 September 1902. p. 5813.
  3. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning Home". The Times (36899). London. 15 October 1902. p. 8.
  4. ^ "No. 27683". The London Gazette. 7 June 1904. p. 3636.

External links[edit]