Boer War and WW1 Medal Group of Six - Brigadier General J.A. Bell-Smyth, Commanding Officer, 1st Dragoon Guards (Awarded the C.M.G. for the Battle of Chateau Hooge)

  • Product Code: MM-4780
  • Regiment: 1st King's Dragoon Guards
  • Era: Boer War and WW1
  • Availability:1

  • Price: £3,350.00


A Boer War and Great War medal group of six to Brigadier General John Ambard Bell-Smyth, CB, CMG, Commanding Officer, 1st Dragoon Guards, who was awarded the C.M.G. for the Battle of Chateau Hooge. 

Queen's South Africa Medal (6 Clasps - Relief of Mafeking, Belmont, Modder River, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901) named to Capt. & Bt: Maj: J.A. Bell-Smyth. 1/ Drgn: Gds. 
1914 Mons Star named to Lt.Col: J.A. Bell-Smyth. 1/ D.Gds. 
British War Medal named to Brig. Gen. J.A. Bell-Smyth. 
WW1 Victory Medal (with M.I.D. oak leaf emblem) named to Brig. Gen. J.A. Bell-Smyth. 
1902 Coronation Medal unnamed as issued 
Austria, Order of the Iron, 3rd Class in gold, with Rothe hallmark, early issue. 

The medals are in good condition. The first five being swing mounted on modern ribbons. 

C.B. London Gazette 3 June 1919
C.M.G. London Gazette 14 January 1916
M.I.D. (x 4) London Gazette 16 April 1901, 1 January 1916, 11 December 1917, and 5 July 1919
Brevet Colonel London Gazette 1 January 1918  


John Ambard Bell-Smyth was born on 6 December 1868 in Trinidad and commissioned into the King’s Dragoon Guards on 21 December 1887. He served as Adjutant in the regiment from 1890 to 1893. In 1896, Queen Victoria appointed Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria to be Colonel-inChief on the regiment. Bell-Smyth was one of three officers who traveled to Vienna to present the Emperor with the old regimental standard. For this service, Bell-Smyth was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown, 3rd Class, which he was granted unrestricted permission to wear. 

Bell-Smyth served as Aide de Camp to Lord Methuen during first several months of the Boer War, being present at Belmont, Modder River, and Magersfontein. Bell-Smyth next appointments were as Adjutant of the Kimberley Mounted Corps on 4 March 1900 and Brigade Major of the Mafeking Relief Column on 1 May 1900. Bell-Smyth was present at the relief of Mafeking on 17 May 1900. Bell-Smyth served as Second in Command, Brabant’s Horse from 20 November 1900, and as Commandant, Middleburg from 2 January to 5 February 1901 before rejoining his regiment as Adjutant upon their arrival in South Africa. Bell-Smyth departed for England on 8 October 1901. For his Boer War service, Bell-Smyth was breveted Major, mentioned in despatches, and awarded the Order of Leopold, 3rd Class by the Emperor Franz Joseph. 

Between wars, Bell-Smyth led the contingent representing the King’s Dragoon Guards at the Coronation of King Edward VII on 9 August 1902. He attended the wedding of Prince Alexander George of Teck (whom he met during the relief of Mafeking) at Windsor Castle on 10 February 1904. He served on the staff on the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from 1 January 1908 to 21 January 1911. After completing his appointment at Sandhurst, Bell-Smyth passed through Staff College, Camberley, 1911-12. 

Bell-Smyth was appointed Commanding Officer, King’s Dragoon Guards on 14 June 1914. The regimental history states that he received the G.M.G. for distinguished service while sub-sector leader during the battle of Chateau Hooge, 1-2 June 1915. He was promoted Brigadier General in command of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade on 16 October 1915 and remained in that position for the rest of the War.

In addition to the C.M.G., Bell-Smyth received the C.B., was breveted Colonel, and mentioned in despatches three times for his Great War services. He retired on 12 May 1920 and died on 24 March 1922.  


The group comes with research including an article about Bell-Smyth from The Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America, copies of a group photograph of the officers in the Mafeking Relief Column, and a photocopy of a painting of Bell-Smyth retained by the family

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Tags: Boer War, First World War, WW!, WWI, World War One, Military Medals, British Medals, Campaign Medals, Gallantry Medals, 1st Dragoon Guards

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Customer Testimonials
“Just a quick e-mail to say that the medals arrived this morning, safe and sound. Once again many thanks - very pleased with them.”
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“Many thanks, order received today, great items”
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“The medals arrived safe and sound today – thanks so much – they are an excellent little grouping.”
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“Just to let you know the medals arrived today in good condition. Excellent WW1 set and French Medaille Militaire, very pleased with both. Look forward to buying from you again.”
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