Corporal James Smith VC

James Smith was born in Maidstone, Kent in 1871. He was serving in the Buffs in the first Mohmand Campaign of 1897 when he won the VC for bravery and leadership. On the night of 16th/17th Sep 1897, in the Mamund Valley, Northwest India, Corporal Smith with other men responded to a call for volunteers to follow two officers into the burning village of Bilot in an attempt to dislodge the enemy. Afterwards, although wounded, he continued to fight steadily and coolly, helping to carry the wounded to a place of safety. When one of the officers left to get help the corporal held the position until his return, exposing himself to great danger and directing the fire of his men. The officers were both from the Royal Engineers; Lt James Colvin and Lt Thomas Watson, both receiving the VC also. Corporal Smith reached Colour-Sergeant and died at the age of 75 at Dartford on 18th Mar 1946.

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