Who's Who - Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien

General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien (1858-1930) was born at Haresfoot in in 1858.

With the outbreak of war Smith-Dorrien, who was a veteran of the 1879 Battle of Isandhlwana and the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, was given command of II Corps of Sir John French's British Expeditionary Force (BEF).  He was praised for his conduct during the Battles of Mons and Le Cateau in August 1914, and was given command of Second Army from December 1914 to April 1915.

Smith-Dorrien fell foul of Sir John French, whom he little respected, during the Second Battle of Ypres, when he recommended a strategic withdrawal closer to Ypres, feeling that nothing short of a major counter-offensive was likely to regain the ground taken by the Germans during their offensive.

French disagreed, dismissing Smith-Dorrien home to England upon the pretext of ill-health, and replacing him with Herbert Plumer, who ironically also recommended a withdrawal upon taking up his position; French accepted Plumer's advice.

Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, who never held another field command, served as governor of Gibraltar from 1918-23, and died in August 1930 from injuries sustained in a road accident.

Click here to view film footage of Smith-Dorrien from 1914.

An Armlet was a cloth band worn around the arm to identify a particular duty or function.

- Did you know?

Who's Who