Lieutenant SMITH, CYRIL ALDIN D.S.O.; Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Royal Naval Division; attd. H.Q. 6th Division
Died 10/06/1916; Age 39
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Smith, of Redington Rd., Hampstead, London; husband of Mrs. Madge Aldin-Smith. Commissioned R.M., 26th Sept., 1914, and 1st March, 1915; served at Antwerp; Commissioned R.N.V.R. 11th Sept., 1915, and lent to 6th Inf. Div. D.S.O. April, 1916, for work against enemy trenches; developed use of bullet-proof shields and Bangalore torpedoes; known as The Admiral.
Menenpoort Addenda Panel 57
A history of the 6th Division would hartly be complete without a short reference to ‘The Admiral’. Many of those who knew and liked him well by that name probably never knew him by any other. Lieutenant Smith was an owner driver of a convoy of buses with the Royal Naval Division at Antwerp, whence he escaped to France. In October 1914 he seized the opportunity of an officer requiring to be taken up to join his unit, to make his way with his car to the front. Arrived there he contrived to get himself attached to the 6th Division Headquarters, remaining with them until he was reported missing on the 10th June 1916. Consumed with a good healthy hatred of the enemy, and keen to be of assistance in any way that he could, he devoted the greater part of the time he was with the division to esperimenting with bullet-proof shields on wheels to be propelled by manpower, a sort of embryonic tank. His ambition was himself to take the first of these into action. At last he was offered an opportunity of co-operating with a small 3-man pattern in a minor raid near Forward Cottage. What success he might have achieved it is impossible to say, as in his eagerness he preceded the shield by several yards to show the crew the way and was hit in the neck by a splinter of a bomb. The name of Admiral’s Road, given to the road past Crossroads Farm and Forward Cottage, commemorates the incident of wich it was the scene. Later ‘The Admiral’ turned his attention to Bangalore torpedoes, in the use of wich he trained the unauthorized party wich had long existed under the name of the 6th Division Shield Party. With them he took part in many raids and minor enterprises, one of wich earned him the D.S.O. On the 10th June he was reported missing from a patrol of the 9th Norfolk Regiment, and nothing has since heard of him. For nearly two years he contrived to serve voluntarily with the Division, nobody quite knows in what capacity of by what authority, and during that time he endeared himself to all by his unfailing good nature and cheeriness, his whole-hearted enthusiasm and his lack of fear.