John Manners Smith

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John Manners Smith
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Born 30 August 1864
Lahore, British India
Died 14 December 1927
London, England
Buried Kensal Green Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Indian Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit Norfolk Regiment
Indian Staff Corps - 5th Gurkha Rifles
Battles/wars Hunza-Naga Campaign
Tirah Campaign
Awards Victoria Cross
Order of the Indian Empire
Royal Victorian Order

Lieutenant Colonel John Manners Smith VC CIE CVO (30 August 1864 – 6 January 1920) was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


Smith was educated at Norwich School and Royal Military College, Sandhurst.[1] After transferring from the Norfolk Regiment to the British Indian Army, Smith was 27 years old, and a lieutenant in the Indian Staff Corps and 5th Gurkha Rifles, British Indian Army, during the Hunza-Naga Campaign, India when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 20 December 1891 near Nilt Fort, British India, Lieutenant Smith led the storming party at the attack and capture of a strong position occupied by the enemy. For nearly four hours on the face of the cliff which was almost precipitous, he moved his handful of men from point to point, and during this time he was unable to defend himself from any attack which the enemy chose to make. He was the first man to reach the summit within a few yards of one of the enemy's sangars, which was immediately rushed, the lieutenant pistolling the first man.[2]

Further information[edit]

Smith later served with the India Staff Corps, and was promoted Major in July 1901.[3] He achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel before he retired from the army.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Gurkha Museum in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harries et al. (1991), p. 210
  2. ^ "No. 26306". The London Gazette. 12 July 1892. p. 4006. 
  3. ^ "No. 27362". The London Gazette. 4 October 1901. p. 6480. 


  • Harries, R.; Cattermole, P.; Mackintosh, P. (1991). A History of Norwich School: King Edward VI's Grammar School at Norwich. Norwich: Friends of Norwich School. ISBN 978-0-9518561-1-6. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Elliot Colvin
Chief Commissioner of Ajmer-Merwara
Succeeded by
Robert Holland