George Walter Smith

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Rear-Admiral George Walter Smith, Royal Navy (13 June, 1865 – 22 February, 1919) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

George Walter Smith was born on 13 June, 1865, at 18 Manchester Street, Marylebone, London. He was the son of John Smith, Esq., Justice of the Peace for the County of Wiltshire, Barrister-not-in-Practice, and landowner.

Smith was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 22 December, 1886.[1]

Smith was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1899.[2]

Captain

Smith was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1904.[3] From 15 July to 17 July he took temporary command of Aboukir] before being superseded on the latter date. He was appointed to Vernon on 6 January, 1905, for command of the cruiser Furious.[4] From 7 March to 1 June, 1906, he was lent to study at the War Course College at Portsmouth where he received a First Class and the rating "Good."[5] He was superseded in Furious on 9 February, 1907. On 3 June he was appointed to go through Gunnery and Torpedo courses at Portsmouth. On 16 September he was appointed to the Senior Officers' (N) [Navigation] course.[6]

He was appointed captain of the armoured cruiser Monmouth on the China Station 1 January, 1908, (possibly effective on 22 February, 1908).[7] Vice-Admiral The Honourable Sir Hedworth Lambton, the Commander-in-Chief, noted: "Good physique but rather hard of hearing[,] otherwise a most excellent officer."[8] Monmouth paid off on 11 March, 1910. From 12 September to 23 December he was appointed to the Royal Naval War College, Portsmouth.[9] He received a First Class and placed second out of the seven captains participating in order of merit.[10]

On 13 February, 1911, Smith was appointed to President to take a Gunnery Course at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and on 6 March a Torpedo course. This last course was cancelled as on 3 March he was appointed to command the battleship Russell. He was relieved by Captain Herbert A. S. Fyler on 5 March, 1913, after his two years' appointment expired.[11] Vice-Admiral Charles J. Briggs, Vice-Admiral Commanding the Fourth Battle Squadron, wrote of Smith:

A good disciplinarian - energetic, handles his ship well. He is slightly deaf, & I understand is to undergo an operation. Recd for Flag Rank.[12]

He took command of the dreadnought Colossus on 5 July, and recommissioned her on 25 November.[13] He was superseded on 29 June, 1914 in order to undergo "Sanatorium treatment (Tubercle)" and was appointed to Victory on full paid leave from that date. After a number of postponed and missed surveys by the Medical Director-General, Smith was surveyed on 27 April, 1915, and found unfit.[14] In his last confidential report, Vice-Admiral The Honourable Sir Stanley Colville, Vice-Admiral Commanding the First Battle Squadron, wrote that Smith had been:

A very keen & hardworking officer who handles his ship well. Capt. Smith's deafness is a great handicap to him.[15]

Retirement

Smith was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 4 November, 1915,[16] and was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 11 January, 1916.[17] During the course of the war he travelled in France, Switzerland, and Japan.[18]

He died on 22 February, 1919,[19] at Aston Grays Nursing Home, Knole Road, Bournemouth.[20]

Service Records


Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Gordon C. Fraser
Captain of H.M. T.B. 84
11 Jul, 1893 – c. mid Aug, 1893[Inference]
Succeeded by
Sidney R. Olivier
Preceded by
Sir Charles J. Graves-Sawle, Bart.
Captain of H.M.S. Aboukir
15 Jul, 1904[21] – 17 Jul, 1904[22]
Succeeded by
William J. Grogan
Preceded by
Henry L. Tottenham
Captain of H.M.S. Furious
6 Jan, 1905[23][24] – 7 Mar, 1906[25]
Succeeded by
Richard F. Phillimore
Preceded by
John A. Tuke
Captain of H.M.S. Monmouth
22 Feb, 1908[26] – 11 Mar, 1910[27]
Succeeded by
Laurence E. Power
Preceded by
Stuart Nicholson
Captain of H.M.S. Russell
3 Mar, 1911[28][29] – 20 Mar, 1913[30]
Succeeded by
Herbert A. S. Fyler
Preceded by
William E. Goodenough
Captain of H.M.S. Colossus
5 Jul, 1913[31] – 29 Jun, 1914[32]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Edward S. Fitzherbert
 

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 25658. p. 6513. 24 December, 1886.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27099. p. 4345. 14 July, 1899.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 27691. p. 4182. 1 July, 1904.
  4. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  5. The National Archives. ADM 203/99. f. 9.
  6. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  7. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 346.
  8. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 55.
  9. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  10. ADM 203/99. f. 43.
  11. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 21 February, 1913. Issue 40141, col D, p. 4.
  12. {TNA|ADM 196/88}}. f. 55.
  13. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  14. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  15. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 55.
  16. The London Gazette: no. 29360. p. 11045. 9 November, 1915.
  17. The London Gazette: no. 29450. p. 999. 25 January, 1916.
  18. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  19. ADM 196/88. f. 55.
  20. Ancestry.co.uk. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966. 1919. p. 340.
  21. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  22. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  23. The Navy List. (November, 1905). p. 318.
  24. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  25. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  26. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 346.
  27. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  28. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  29. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 370.
  30. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  31. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.
  32. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 312.