John Rowland Smyth

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Sir John Rowland Smyth
Born 1806
Died 14 May 1873
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1821 — 1873
Rank Colonel
Unit 16th The Queen's Lancers
32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot
6th Dragoon Guards
Commands held 6th Dragoon Guards
Battles/wars Siege of Bharatpur
Battle of Aliwal
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Colonel Sir John Rowland Smyth KCB (1806 — 14 May 1873) was a British Army officer who saw service in India.


Born to Grice Smyth and his wife Mary, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.

Smyth was commissioned as a cornet into the on 5 July 1821 and, promoted to Lieutenant on 26 May 1825, he fought at the Capture of Bharatpur later that year. He was made a Captain on 22 April 1826, and transferred to the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot. After 10 years with the 32nd he moved to the 6th Dragoon Guards, before being given a year-long leave of absence in 1830 to serve a prison sentence. Smyth had fought one of the last duels in the United Kingdom, and both he and his second were imprisoned for manslaughter. Promoted to Major on 17 August 1841, he returned to the 16th Lancers on 6 May 1842 and served with it during the Gwalior Campaign and First Anglo-Sikh War. At the Battle of Aliwal, Smyth led the 16th Lancers to rout the Sikh cavalry and break a square of infantry; he was mentioned in dispatches and made a brevet Lieutenant-Colonel.

After a series of promotions and successes he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 13 March 1867, promoted to Lieutenant-General on 1 April 1870, and became Colonel of the 6th Dragoon Guards on 21 January 1868.[1]

He was married to Fanny Abbott, daughter of Lord Tenterden, who survived him following his death on 14 May 1873.[1]


  1. ^ a b Lloyd, E. M. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Smyth, Sir John Rowland (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 July 2010.