Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
Date Information
03/06/2020 02696
03/06/2020 02696
20/09/2017 Another old Dungannon Royal School boy has given up his life for the cause of King and country in the person of Major Robertson S Smyth, M.D., Royal Army Medical Corps (Banbridge), who has died in a nursing home in London.
20/09/2017 From the Tyrone Courier dated 13th April 1916:
01/12/2016 The death suddenly occurred yesterday, in a nursing home in London, of Major Robertson Stewart Smyth, M.D., Royal Army Medical Corps, who was invalided home from the front in December last. The late Major Smyth was the fourth son of the late Mr William Smyth, Brookfield, Banbridge, and was educated in Dungannon Royal School and Trinity College Dublin. He was a former captain of Dublin University Rugby Club, and represented Ireland in several international matches. He entered the Royal Army Medical Corps in July 1905, and was promoted to the rank of captain on January 1909, obtaining his majority in October last. He went to France in September 1914, and served on the Western Front continuously until December 1915, when he was invalided home, subsequently relinquishing his commission on the grounds of ill-health. Major Smyth was mentioned in despatches by Field Marshall Viscount French for gallant and distinguished service in the field. He was a brother of Captain E F Smyth, 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrim Volunteers), who is at present home on leave, and a cousin of Captain G B F Smyth, D.S.O., Royal Engineers.
01/12/2016 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 6th April 1916:
30/12/2015 After graduation in 1905 he was appointed House Surgeon on the resident staff of Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, Dublin
30/12/2015 Upon the outbreak of War in 1914, he followed the British Expeditionary Force to France, where it is stated that he served with "rare devotion". He was mentioned in Dispatches by Field Marshal Sir John French, Supreme Commander of the British Expeditionary Force and later Viceroy of Ireland, for "gallant and distinguished service in the field."
30/12/2015 On his return from India, he was one of a group of three local men who, on 18th September 1913, welcomed and led Sir Edward Carson into Banbridge.
30/12/2015 Robbie served in India from 1907-1912.
30/12/2015 He joined the Royal Army Medical Corp on the completion of his studies in 1905, was commissioned as a Lieutenant on 31st July 1905 and promoted to Captain on 31st January 1909.
30/12/2015 He also played for Wanderers and the Barbarians.
30/12/2015 Robbie won three caps for Ireland in 1903 and 1904. He was also in the 1903 British Lions tour of South Africa where he played three games. He was part of the Ireland team that played Scotland at the Scottish Rugby Union ground at Inverleith, Ferry Road, Edinburgh on 28th February 1903.
30/12/2015 Robbie rose rapidly through the ranks and was promoted to Major on 2nd December 1915, continuing in active service until later that month when he was invalided as the result of gas poisoning.
30/12/2015 Robbie Smyth was a talented rugby player. He was a member of Dublin University's 2nd XV when they won the Junior League in the 1898/1899 season, captain of the University XV in 1903-04.
30/12/2015 It seems that because he resigned his commission before he died, Major Robertson Stewart Smyth is not listed in the CWGC.
30/12/2015 Robertson Smyth was educated at Dungannon Royal School and then entered Trinity College Dublin where he received a Doctorate in Medicine.
30/12/2015 Smyth played on the Dun's Hospital Rugby team in the Dublin Hospitals Rugby Cup for six years from 1900-1905; the team won the cup on all but one of those years.
30/12/2015 Major Smyth returned to active service and was again invalided due to gas poisoning on 1st January 1916. after which he was then sent to a nursing home in London where he relinquished his commission on 22nd February of that year.
30/12/2015 Major Robertson Stewart Smyth died at 20 Endsleigh Gardens, London on 5th April 1916 aged 36 years,
30/12/2015 Major Robertson Stewart Smyth was brought home and buried in Banbridge Municipal Cemetery.
30/12/2015 Robertson Stewart Smyth, better known within the family as Robbie Smyth, was born on 18th August 1879 at 'Seaview' in Warrenpoint (possibly their holiday home), the second son of William and Jane Robson Smyth.
30/12/2015 The late Major Smyth was a brother of Major Edmund F. Smyth, Royal Irish Rifles.
30/12/2015 In an obituary in the Lancet, an unnamed friend stated:
30/12/2015 Major Robertson Stewart Smyth is commemorated on Banbridge War Memorial. He is also commemorated on a plaque at the entrance to the 1937 reading room at Trinity College , Dublin. And on Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital Great War Memorial, Dublin
30/12/2015 'His lovable disposition and engaging personality gained him many friends. His death will be deeply regretted by all who knew him, and he will always be held in affectionate remembrance by the friends he made in his all too short life'.
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