Sir Edmund Hakewill-Smith
|Born||17 March 1896|
Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa
|Died||15 April 1986 (aged 90)|
Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
|Years of service||1915–1949|
|Unit||Royal Scots Fusiliers|
|Commands held||5th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment|
4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers
157th Infantry Brigade
155th Infantry Brigade
52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Russian Civil War
World War II
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order|
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Commander with Star of the Royal Order of St. Olav
Grand Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau
Early life and First World War
Hakewill-Smith was born in Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa, on 17 March 1896, he was educated at the Diocesan College ("Bishops") in Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa and, during the First World War, he went to England to attend the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Royal Scots Fusiliers, a line infantry regiment of the British Army, on 16 June 1915. He served with the 2nd Battalion of his regiment on the Western Front where he was wounded twice and, during the final Hundred Days Offensive in the latter half of 1918, and was awarded the Military Cross.
Between the wars
After the war he remained in the army and served with the British Military Mission to South Russia in 1920, and in 1921 he was aide-de-camp to Lawrence Dundas, 2nd Marquess of Zetland (Governor of Bengal, India). He later served as an adjutant to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers between 1927–1930, and was a student at the Staff College, Quetta from 1932–1933. He later served on the staff of the War Office from 1934–1936.
World War II
During the Second World War Hakewill-Smith initially served as Commanding Officer (CO) of the 5th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, for several months from May 1940 and from September that year, as the CO of the 4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, as an acting lieutenant colonel. He was promoted to temporary brigadier on 30 March 1941, and commanded the 157th Infantry Brigade until late March 1942. He then became Director of Organization at the War Office before assuming command of the 155th Infantry Brigade in mid-February 1943. On 26 December 1943, promoted to temporary major general, he assumed command of the mountain warfare-trained 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division from Major-General Neil Ritchie as its General Officer Commanding (GOC). He commanded the 52nd Division during the campaign in North-West Europe, from October 1944 until May 1945.
After the war, he commanded the Lowland District in Scotland before serving as President of the Military Court for War Crimes Trial of German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. He finally retired from the army in 1949.
Hakewill-Smith was awarded the CBE (1944) and CB (1945), and also served as the Honorary Colonel of the Royal Scots Fusiliers (1946–1957). In addition, he served at Windsor Castle as a Military Knight of Windsor, later being appointed Lieutenant Governor of the castle (1964–1972) and was created a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1967. He died in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey in 1986 at the age of 90.
Awards and decorations
- Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (10 June 1967)
- Companion of the Order of the Bath (5 July 1945)
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire (8 June 1944)
- Military Cross (1 February 1919) "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the nine miles' advance east of Ypres on 28th, -29th and 30th September, 1918. On the 28th he successfully filled a gap in the front line at a critical moment. On the 29th, when he was the only platoon officer left in his company, he took command of two platoons, and showed admirable coolness and determination in dealing with machine-gun nests, which were holding up the company on his right."
- Mentioned in despatches twice (9 August 1945 and 4 April 1946)
- 1914–15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
- Commander with Star of the Royal Order of St. Olav (Norway, 19 March 1948)
- Grand Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands, 14 November 1947)
- Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.
| GOC 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division
The Lord Trenchard
| Colonel of the Royal Scots Fusiliers