b. 05/10/1825 Lurgan, County Cavan, Ireland, d. 16/01/1906 Dublin, Ireland.
Philip Smith (1829-1906) was born in July 1829 at Lurgan, County Cavan, Ireland. He enlisted in the 17th Regiment of Foot (later Royal Leicestershire Regiment) and was soon posted to the Crimean Peninsula on the outbreak of war in 1854.
He spent the majority of the war serving in the trenches of Sebastopol, and on the 18th June 1855, he repeatedly went out in front of the advanced trenches against the Redan, under heavy fire, to bring in wounded comrades who had retired from the assault. Smith was one of the first men to be gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 24th February 1857.
Smith was unable to attend the first investiture of the Victoria Cross on 26th June 1857 at Hyde Park, London, and was presented with his medal by Brigadier General Sir Charles Trollope in Canada on 1st August 1857. Following his military service, he returned to his native Ireland.
Smith died on 16th January 1906, aged 80, at Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin, of bronchitis and pneumonia. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in a burial plot purchased by his son-in-law, John Scully, one-time High Sheriff of Dublin. Therefore, Smith’s name was not included on the headstone.
On 29th November 2003, five generations of the Smith family and representatives of the Royal Leicestershire Regimental Association attended a service in Glasnevin Cemetery to place a footstone at the graveside of Corporal Smith. Smith’s medal group is held by the Royal Leicestershire Regiment and replicas of his medal group are displayed in the Regimental Museum at Newarke House, Leicester.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENTAL MUSEUM, LEICESTER.
BURIAL PLACE: GLASNEVIN CEMETERY, DUBLIN, IRELAND. GRAVE TH/113 – 1/2.
Thomas Stewart – Image of Smith’s grave in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
Steve Lee www.memorialstovalour.co.uk – Image of the Leicestershire Regiment Memorial in Leicester Cathedral.