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Colonel H B L Smith, MC

Colonel H B L Smith, MC.

Commanded 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment from 6th May 1943 to 31st May 1944. He commanded the 1/6th Battalion from September 1945 to August 1946. He again commanded the 1st Battalion from November 1951 to November 1953.

Henry Brockton Lochart Smith known as ' Harry I was born on 2nd February 1909 and was educated at Marlborough and the RMC Sandhurst. He was commissioned in The East Surrey Regiment in January 1929 and joined the 1st Battalion with whom he served in India until 1935 when he was posted to the Depot. After two years at the Depot he was appointed adjutant of the 7th Battalion (23rd London Regiment) until it was transformed into 42nd Royal Tank Regiment in 1938. He rejoined the 1st Battalion and then was posted to command 11th Infantry Brigade Anti-Tank Company with whom he served in France in 1939-40. In September 1942 he rejoined the 1st Battalion as 2 i/c and took part in Operation Torch and the subsequent Tunisian Campaign. He assumed command of the Battalion when Lt Col Wilberforce was killed in action on 6th May 1943. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in Tunisia. He led the Battalion in the Sicilian Campaign and in Italy until after the capture of Cassino and the breaking of the Adolf Hitler Line when he was appointed to the Staff in the Middle East. From September 1945 he commanded the 1/6th Battalion in Greece until its disbandment in August 1946. From January 1949 to November 1951 he was with the Sudan Defence Force and from November 1951 to November 1953 he commanded the 1st Battalion. He then became A/Q at HQ Northumberian District and retired from the Army on 5th May 1961.
Harry Smith was the son of Colonel H L Smith who had commanded the 1st Battalion from 1907 to 1911.

He died July 26th 1997
For obituary see QRSNL November 1997 page 50

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