Personal info

  • Name: Alfred Victor SMITH
  • D.O.B: 22nd Jul, 1891
  • D.O.D: 23rd Dec, 1915
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Second Lieutenant, 1/ 5th (TF) Battalion The East Lancashire Regiment, 42nd Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Fusilier Bluff, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey 23 December 1915

23 December 1915

More details about:
The Gallipoli Campaign 25 April 1915–9 January 1916 

On 7 December 1915 the British cabinet finally authorized the evacuation of all troops from Suvla Bay and Anzac Cove. The embarkation began on 18 December and was successfully completed on the 20th. In order to distract Turkish attention and also to deter enemy attacks on the Allies’ remaining position at Cape Helles, Lieutenant General Sir F J Davies, Commander of VIII Corps, ordered his commanders to remain on the offensive against the Turks. Accordingly, on the night of 22-23 December 1915 Second Lieutenant A V Smith, 1/5th Battalion The East Lancashire Regiment, led a bombing party into an advanced post at Fusilier Bluff. This lay above Y Beach, at the north-western end of the Allied Line across Cape Helles. Smith’s party and the Turks hurled bombs at one another. It was muddy and slippery and early on the 23rd Smith stumbled and the grenade he was throwing fell into the British trench. To protect the rest of his party, he flung himself over it and was killed.


 For most conspicuous bravery. He was in the act of throwing a grenade when it slipped from his hand and fell to the bottom of the trench, close to several of our officers and men. He immediately shouted out a warning, and himself jumped clear and into safety; but, seeing that the officers and men were unable to get into cover, and knowing well that the grenade was due to explode, he returned without any hesitation and flung himself down on it. He was instantly killed by the explosion. His magnificent act of self-sacrifice undoubtedly saved many lives. 

The London Gazette of 3 March 1916, Numb. 29496, p. 2349

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