b. 18/11/1826 Dublin, Ireland. d. 22/07/1887 Duleek, County Meath, Ireland.
Frederick Augustus Smith (1826-1887) was born on 18th November 1826 in Dublin, Ireland. He was commissioned as an Ensign into the 1st Regiment of Foot (Royal Scots) on 1st January 1849. He was then promoted to Lieutenant in 1852, and Captain in March 1855. He served throughout the Crimean Campaign of 1854-1855, including at the Battles of Alma, Inkerman and Sebastopol. He was awarded the Crimean Medal with three clasps and the Turkish War Medal.
In April 1861, he chose to exchange as a Captain into the 43rd Light Infantry (now 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry). He served with the 43rd in the New Zealand War, and was present at the actions of Maketu and Tauranga, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his action on 21st June 1864.
On the 21st June 1864, at Tauranga, he led an attack on the Maori position, and although he was wounded, he reached the enemy rifle pits. He then jumped into the rifle pits, where he commenced a fierce hand to hand encounter with the enemy, setting a fine example to his men, leading to a victory. He was gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 4th November 1864, and would receive the medal by registered post on 31st January 1865.
He was then given the Brevet of Major, becoming a Major eventually in 1868. He would retire from service in 1878 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He retired to his family estates in Ireland, where he died on 22nd July 1887 aged 60 at his home, Breerly, Duleek, County Meath. He was buried in the family plot in an unmarked grave in St Kienan’s Church of Ireland Churchyard, Duleek. His medals are held by the Ashcroft Trust and displayed in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: DULEEK CEMETERY, DULEEK, IRELAND. (UNMARKED GRAVE)
Frederick Smith's medals including VC on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London (August 2014)