CAPTAIN GEORGE ALAN CAMPBELL SMITH MC
ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS
28TH SEPTEMBER 1918 AGE 22
BURIED: GROOTEBEEK BRITISH CEMETERY, OUDERDOM, BELGIUM
George Smith left school, Rugby, at Easter 1915 with a Classical Scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge. He immediately took a commission in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and after training went to France in June 1916. He was promoted captain that September. In November he was awarded a Military Cross for carrying out "a daring raid against the enemy with great courage and determination".
In November 1917 he returned to England for six months home duty before returning to France in May 1918. He was killed six months later by a shell whilst leading his Company into action on 28 September 1918.
Smith's inscription, chosen by his father, George Smith Master of Dulwich College, comes from Robert Browning's poem Rabbi Ben Ezra, a philosophical poem in which Age addresses Youth and tells it, "Grow old along with me the best is yet to be". This is because in Age we acquire the wisdom and insight that Youth, too concerned with living in the moment, doesn't have. However, these are the very qualities that twenty-two-year-old Smith was admired for. As his Colonel wrote to his parents: "Though young in years, he had an old head, with much discretion. I could trust any duty to him knowing that it would be well and faithfully carried out".
The poem holds that our life on earth is but one step on the journey of our soul, which will continue after death. To his parents, George Smith was setting out "Once more on my adventure brave and new".