Alfred Victor Smith
Posted: 22nd Aug 2018

Alfred Victor Smith (1891-1915)

Victor came to live in Burnley with his family when his father was appointed Chief Constable. Victor also served as police Inspector in the Blackpool police force. He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in 1/5th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment and landed at Gallipoli. Victor was killed in action and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military award, in December 1915.

F3_2128-A Victor Smith Victoria Cross obverse

Alfred’s Victoria Cross- “For Valour”

His citation reads “For most conspicuous bravery. He was in the act of throwing a grenade when it slipped from his hand and fell into 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 killed instantly by the explosion. His magnificent act of self sacrifice undoubtedly saved many lives.”

He was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

His father decided to donate his medals to Towneley Hall, as a reminder of the sacrifice his and other people’s sons, had made during the war. A portrait, also in Towneley Hall, was paid for by public subscription.