WWI – Captain Rudolph (Rudolf) Meade SMYTHE

Captain Rudolph (Rudolf) Meade SMYTHE

Died of wounds 14th September 1915.

Rudolph was born on the 15th June 1885 in Caxton, Cambridgeshire. His parents were Henry Meade Smythe, who died before 20th March 1902 and Fanny Catherine Smythe (nee Pritchard). They married on the 1st May 1884 at Portsea in Hampshire.

Rudolph became a Second Lieutenant on the 16th March 1911 and by the outbreak of war lived at Eaton Ford, St.Neots in Huntingdonshire. His will was made out whilst on the SS Braemar Castle on the 6th August 1915, leaving his entire estate to his mother, Fanny.

2/Lt Rudolph Smythe sailed with the Battalion on the 26th July 1915 but was “decidedly annoyed” to be dropped off at Alexandria, Egypt with the reinforcements on 6th August 1915. As a result he did not take part in the 15th August attack in Gallipoli but landed with the reserves at Suvla Bay 23rd August and commanded Biggleswade’s D Company after the reorganisation in September 1914.

2/Lt Smythe spent less than 3 weeks on the peninsula before being killed by a sniper shot to the head. Although he was rushed to 16 CCS, he never regained consciousness and died the following morning.

Rudolph is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli and can be seen in the 1915 Officers group photograph here, third from the left of the third row. His brother, Lieutenant Barlow Woollcombe Smythe, MC also served in the 5th battalion.

officers1915

The Battalion War Diary records:

13 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work of improvement continued. Our ships guns bombarded enemy trenches doing considerable damage at 1130. CAPT SMYTHE wounded.

14 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as usual. CAPT SMYTHE died of wounds.”

Source: http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/5thbn/5thbtnofficersdied.html

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