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The Great War 1918 ‘Egyptian Expeditionary Force’ D.S.O., 1916 M.C. Group of Six to Lieutenant-Colonel I.M. Smith, Somerset Light Infantry, Wounded on the Western Front, 31.10.1914, and Five Times Mentioned in Despatches.
Included is a swing mounted, as worn, medal group, including:
Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar; Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914 Star, named CAPT: I.M. SMITH. SOM: L.I.; British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. Oak Leaves, named MAJOR I.M. SMITH.; Serbia, Kingdom, Order of the White Eagle, 2nd type, Military Division, Officer’s breast Badge, 65mm including crown and crossed swords suspension x 35mm, silver-gilt and enamel, last lacking rosette from riband, generally very fine or better, together with a photographic image of the recipient, 2 photos of officer’s of the Somerset Light Infantry and two large files of exhaustive research.
D.S.O. London Gazette 1.1.1919 Maj. Ian Mackintosh Smith, M.C., Som. L.I.
‘For distinguished service in connection with Military Operations in Egypt.’
M.C. London Gazette 1.1.1917 Capt. Ian Mackintosh Smith, Som. L.I.
‘For distinguished service in the field.’
Serbia, Order of the White Eagle, Fourth Class London Gazette 15.10.1920 Major (local Lieutenant-Colonel) Ian Mackintosh Smith, D.S.O., M.C., Somerset Light Infantry
‘For distinguished services rendered during the course of the campaign.’
Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Mackintosh ‘Jan’ Smith, D.S.O., M.C., was born in Inverness in January 1884, the son of John Mackintosh Smith, Esq., a tea planter from Ceylon. Educated at Rugby School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he was Commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Somerset Light Infantry, 22.10.1902, and was promoted Lieutenant, 20.5.1905. A talented linguist, he was an interpreter in Turkish and French, and served as Vice-Consul at Adana, Turkey, February to November 1911; and as Vice-Consul at Van, Turkey, whilst seconded to the Foreign Office, October 1913 until the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914. Promoted Captain, 11.8.1914, he served during the Great War with the 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry on the Western Front from 10.10.1914- reaching the front line on the 27th October he was wounded in the right thigh by a high explosive shell four days later, 31.10.1914. Admitted to General Hospital No.2, he returned to England, 3.11.1914. Appointed General Staff Officer, 3rd Grade, to serve as Staff Officer (Intelligence) with G.H.Q. Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 24.2.1915, he served at Gallipoli, and was Mentioned in Despatches for the Suvla Bay landings (London Gazette 5.11.1915). Subsequently appointed Brigade Major in the 12th Infantry Brigade, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 25.12.1915, he served in this capacity until November 1916, was again Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 1.12.1916), and awarded the Military Cross. Appointed General Staff Officer, 2nd Grade, to serve as Liaison Officer with G.H.Q. Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 4.11.1916, he was promoted Major, 22.10.1917, was thrice more Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazettes 16.1.1918, 22.1.1919, and 12.1.1920), was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, and an Officer of the Serbian Order of the White Eagle. Appointed temporary Military Attaché at Constantinople, 1.8.1919, in which he would have been in charge of liaising with Australian Military Officer’s in regards to the searching for lost and missing soldier’s on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He remained there for a year before re-joining his old Regiment in Northern Ireland. However, Ireland was not to his liking- ‘he had not joined the army to be potted at from behind hedges’- and he resigned with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, 29.3.1923. Moving to London, he was employed at Conservative Head Office, before retiring to Co. Down. He died in Belfast, 9.10.1958.
Smith was the only Somerset Light Infantry Officer to be awarded the D.S.O., M.C., and Serbian Order of the White Eagle during the Great War. An article on his career and medals was published in the Journal of the Orders and Medals Research Society, Summer 1993 (Vol. 32, No.2). Overall an exceptional ‘double’ gallantry award medal & research group.