Edmund Hakewill-Smith

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Sir Edmund Hakewill-Smith
Born 17 March 1896
Died 15 April 1986 (aged 90)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1915–1949
Rank Major General
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
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
Distinguished Service Order
Commander with Star of the Royal Order of St. Olav
Grand Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau

Major General Sir Edmund Hakewill-Smith KCVO CB CBE DSO MC (17 March 1896 – 15 April 1986) was a senior British Army officer who served in both World War I and World War II.

Military career[edit]

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 at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the British Army's Royal Scots Fusiliers on 16 June 1915, during World War I. He served 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.[1]

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).[1] 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.[1]

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 took the 155th Infantry Brigade in mid-February 1943. In November 1943, promoted to temporary major general, he assumed command of the mountain warfare-trained 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division as its General Officer Commanding (GOC).[2] He commanded the 52nd Division during the campaign in North-West Europe, from October 1944 until May 1945.[1]

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.[1]

Hakewill-Smith was awarded the CB (1944) and CBE (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.[1]

Awards and decorations[edit]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Neil Ritchie
GOC 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Robert Urquhart
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Trenchard
Honorary Colonel of the Royal Scots Fusiliers
Succeeded by
Archibald Ian Buchanan-Dunlop