25 October 1893 – 26 April 1983
Sir John (Jackie) Smyth was a British Indian Army officer and Conservative Member of Parliament.
In 1915, Smyth was awarded the Victoria Cross For most conspicuous bravery near Richebourg L’Avoue on 18th May. With a bombing party of 10 men, who volunteered themselves for this mission, he conveyed ninety-six bombs to within twenty yards of the enemy’s position. To do this he had to cover extremely dangerous ground whilst exposed the whole time to howitzer, shrapnel, machine-gun and rifle fire, after the attempts of two other parties had failed. He was successful in his mission despite losing eight of the ten other volunteers.
He was later awarded the military cross for bravery in battle in Waziristan in 1920, the citation in the London Gazette read:
“For gallantry and initiative at Khajuri, Tochi Valley, on the 22nd October, 1919, when, having been sent forward from Idak to clear up the situation, his quick appreciation, dispositions and leadership averted a serious disaster and contributed largely towards the saving of a valuable convoy attacked by the enemy. He showed great gallantry under heavy fire, inspired his command, and brought the convoy safely to Idak.”