An Outstanding Military Medal for the Capture of 21 of the Enemy
An Outstanding MM for the Capture of 21 of the Enemy - Military Medal (911398 Cpl R.R. SMYTH. 1.CAN:M.R.); British War Medal (911398 CPL. R.R. SMYTH. 1-C.M.R.); and Victory Medal (911398 CPL. R.R. SMYTH. 1-C.M.R.). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, original ribbons, light tarnishing to the MM, bruising on the VM, better than very fine. Accompanied by copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Pay Records, Military Medal Citation, Discharge Certificates and Will.Footnote: Robert Reuben Smyth was born on June 6, 1896 in Belfast, Ireland, the son of Andrew Percy Smyth and Annie Smyth. He signed his Attestation Paper as a Private, on April 3, 1916 with the 196th Infantry Battalion "Western Universities C.E.F. Battalion", at the age of 19, in Edmonton, Alberta, naming his next-of-kin as his father, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Bank Clerk. The Battalion was raised from Western Universities with mobilization headquarters at Winnipeg, Manitoba under the authority of G.O. 69, July 15, 1916. The Battalion sailed November 1, 1916 from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the S.S. Southland, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel D.S. Mackay with a strength of 32 officers and 974 other ranks, arriving in Liverpool, England on the 11th. Beginning in the new year, the 196th Battalion was absorbed by the 19th Reserve Battalion on January 1, 1917, and after fifteen weeks training and orientation, Smyth proceeded to France for service with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles on April 21, 1917. He was taken on strength upon arrival in France on the 22nd, left for his unit on the 25th, arriving with them in the field on the 27th. He was hospitalized only once during his European service, for three days, as he reported from base "sick" with a "fever" on July 4, 1917, before rejoining his unit on the 7th. He was placed on command at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp on September 22, 1917, then rejoined his unit on October 3rd. Smyth ran afoul of the authorities, as he was sentenced to twenty days Field Punishment No. 2 and forfeited five days' pay, for overstaying his leave, from January 19 to 23, 1918. He is documented as being on command at an L.G. Course with 3rd Division Wing (March 5 to 28, 1918), then posted to the 6th Corps Bombing School as a Batman (July 14 to August 8, 1918). He returned to the French theatre after his tenure as a Batman immediately afterwards. It was during this period that he was to earn recognition for actions that occurred on August 26, 1918, on the first day of the Battle of the Scarpe (August 26 to 30), part of the Hundred Days Offensive. It was on August 26th that the Canadian Corps advanced over five kilometres and captured the towns of Monchy-le-Preux and Wancourt. He was awarded his Military Medal under 3rd Division Order 3563 on October 5, 1918, and cited in the London Gazette 31227 on March 13, 1919: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on Aug. 26th, 1918 during the attack on MONCHY LE PREUX. This man advanced against very strong enemy resistance, being confronted with a dugout filled with the enemy. With the aid of one of his Officers he was instrumental in capturing 21 of the occupants besides inflicting several casualties. Stretcher parties were urgently needed to help in moving our wounded and Pte. SMYTH immediately utilized his captives as stretcher bearers thus rendering valuable assistance in getting out the wounded. His coolness and initiative in face of heavy difficulties and his utter disregard for personal safety was a splendid example to all associated with him." The following month, in September 1918, he was honoured with two promotions: to Lance Corporal (September 1st) and later, while posted to the 1st Army Rest Camp from September 17th to October 23rd, to Corporal (September 23rd). Upon the ceasing of hostilities, Smyth made his way to the port city of Le Havre, France and returned to England on February 12, 1919. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated February 17, 1919 at Bramshott, it was noted by the doctors that he had a Compound Hypermetropic Astigmatism in his right eye since infancy. They stated that he "Has always had poor vision (in his) right eye. Has worn glasses since childhood. Has never worn glasses since enlistment." The assumption is he hid the condition from the Army, so he could be declared eligible for enlistment. The Medical Board deemed his condition to be "permanent" and declared him "Category A" (fit for General Service). He was struck off the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, embarking Liverpool on March 12, 1919 aboard the R.M.S. Baltic, arriving in Halifax on the 20th. Smyth was honourably discharged upon demobilization on March 25, 1919 at Dispersal Station "N", District Depot No. 10 in Brandon, Manitoba, credited with having served in Canada, the United Kingdom and France, and entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A", number 72868. In his Will, dated October 12, 1916, he left all of his personal and real estates to his mother but the Will was never executed accordingly. In addition to his Military Medal, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, all three of which are presented here.