Henry Abel Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir Henry Abel Smith
Henry Abel Smith and May Ella Emma Cambridge.jpg
Henry Abel Smith and Lady May Cambridge.
17th Governor of Queensland
In office
18 March 1958 – 18 March 1966
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Premier Sir Frank Nicklin
Preceded by Sir John Lavarack
Succeeded by Sir Alan Mansfield
Personal details
Born 8 March 1900
London, England
Died 24 January 1993(1993-01-24) (aged 92)
Barton Lodge, Winkfield, England
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Lady May Cambridge
(m. 1931–93; his death)
Children Anne Liddell-Grainger
Richard Abel Smith
Elizabeth Wise
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Distinguished Service Order
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1919–1950
Rank Colonel
Unit Royal Horse Guards
Battles/wars Second World War

Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith KCMG, KCVO, DSO (8 March 1900 – 24 January 1993) was a British Army officer and a Governor of Queensland.


He was born in London, on 8 March 1900, the son of Francis Abel Smith (1861–1908), of Selsdon Park and Wilford House, and his wife Madeline St. Maur Seymour (1862–1951). His grandparents were Henry Abel Smith (1826–1890) and Elizabeth Mary Pym (1826–1877), and his great-grandparents were Francis Pym (1790–1860) and Lady Lucy Leslie-Meville (1796–1848), daughter of Alexander Leslie-Melville, 9th Earl of Leven. He descended from the Smith's banking family and was also a descendant of Edward Seymour, 8th Duke of Somerset.[1]

Abel Smith was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in December 1919. He served in the Second World War, winning the Distinguished Service Order. He retired as a Colonel in 1950.

On 24 October 1931, he married Lady May Cambridge, at St. Mary's Church, Balcombe, Sussex. She was born Princess May of Teck, and was a niece of King George V and Queen Mary, and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. They had three children:

Sir Henry was appointed Governor of Queensland from 18 March 1958, serving until 18 March 1966. He was highly respected in the office of governor. People lined the streets as a mark of high esteem to bid farewell to him and Lady May Abel Smith on their final day in office on their way to Brisbane Airport.

Sir Henry died at Barton Lodge, Winkfield, Berkshire, on 24 January 1993 aged 92. His funeral service took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. His cremated remains were buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. His wife survived him by only sixteen months.

Titles, styles, honours, and arms[edit]


Ribbon bars of Col. Sir Henry Abel Smith


External links[edit]


Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Lavarack
Governor of Queensland
Succeeded by
Sir Alan Mansfield