Roll of Honour

Sergeant

George Battison Smith

Military Medal

George Battison Smith was born in 1894 in the Govan district of Glasgow, and was the elder son of George and Mary Battison Smith. The family lived at 3 Drumoyne Terrace in Govan, and George attended Govan High School.

Image of George Batteson Smith

On leaving school he was employed by the University, and at the time of enlistment he was Assistant Librarian. The University's Officers' Training Corp had strong links to the 9th Battalion of the Cameronians, the Scottish Rifles, and so it is not surprising that when he enlisted, he joined them.

The 9th Battalion of the Cameronians saw action in most of the main theatres starting with Loos in 1915 and through the Somme and Ypres. George died on 19th October 1918 in the advance through Belgium and is buried in the Harlebeke New British Cemetery in the West-Vlaanderen region of Belgium. The initial press report in the Glasgow Herald gave his date of death as the 20th October, but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission confirmed it as the 19th. The 9th Battalion was stood down immediately after this advance, and took no further active part in the War.

George's parents had the inscription “To Live in Hearts of those we Leave Behind is not to Die” added to his gravestone. By the time of his death, George had attained the rank of Sergeant, and his valour had been recognised with the award of the Military Medal - a medal awarded for exceptional bravery. The Military Medal was awarded to the Other Ranks (N.C.O.'s and Men) and was first instituted during the war in 25 March 1916, to recognise bravery in battle. It is equivalent to the Military Cross, which was awarded to Warrant Officers and commissioned officers.

George’s name is remembered by appearing on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, the Govan High School War Memorial, and in the Roll of Honour of his regiment the Cameronians.