Sgt Edward Benn Smith V.C.

Birth: Nov. 10, 1898
Death: Jan. 12, 1940
Edward Benn 'Ned' Smith VC, DCM 10 November 1898 – 12 January 1940 was an English 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, and at 19 the youngest such recipient from the First World War.
WWI recipient of the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom’s highest award for valor. Lance-Sergeant, 1/5th Bttn., Lancashire Fusiliers. Born in Maryport, Cumberland, England. Smith won his V.C. for action at Serre, France, August 21-23, 1918. From his citation: “Sjt. Edward Smith, D.C.M., Lancashire Fusiliers, while in command of a platoon, personally took a machine gun post with rifle and bayonet, killing at least six of the enemy, regardless of the hand grenades they flung at him. Later he led his men to the assistance of another platoon he saw in difficulties, took command, and captured the objective. During the counter attack next day he led forward a section and restored a portion of the line. His personal bravery, skill and initiative were outstanding, and his conduct throughout an inspiring example to all.” Smith also won the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Edward was the RSM of the 1st Bn in China 1935 to 1938 and was a good friend of Bandmaster William Elliott his is a signed photo he gave to William 2nd photo with William and the French Bandmaster 3rd photo William left and Edward on the right

According to ‘The Whitehaven News’, a local West Cumbrian newspaper, when he returned to his home town of Maryport after the Great War in 1919, he was greeted by a cheering crowd of 6000 people, equivalent to the town's total population at the time. Another local newspaper described Ned Smith in the following terms:

"Sergeant Smith is not only a VC but looks it. He is a British soldier every inch of him. He is an A1 man from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. .... He has not only won the VC but he has a chest on which to display it."
He continued serving, from 1918-38, in China, Malalya and Ireland, before retiring with an Army pension having attained the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major. He then joined the Corps of Commissionaires in London for about a year.

In 1921, he attended a Garden Party held at Buckingham Palace by King George V of England for Victoria Cross holders, as the youngest recipient present. He never married.

" CSM Edward Smith VC DCM had served with Captain A B Sackett in the 1/5th Lancashire Fusiliers, although Captain Sackett was only seconded there from the RNF.

CSM Smith was on leave at home at Number 3 India Street Summerseat on the 19th June 1918 when he wrote to Captain Sacket, who had by then won a MC and was wounded and had lost a leg."

Sent in by Robert Sackett the son of Captain Sackett.

He also served during the early days of WWII, rising to the rank of Lieutenant (Quartermaster) in the 5th Bttn., Lancashire Fusiliers. He was killed in action during fighting around Bucquoy, France, January 12, 1940. (bio by: Paul F. Wilson)
Search for Edward Smith

Beuvry Communal Cemetery Extension
Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Plot: 1.B.7.
Other links