Major Cecil Arthur Ralph-Smith MC & Bar,
Formerly of 121st (West Riding) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
Research is ongoing into the story of Cecil Ralph-Smith MC*, what follows is a brief place-holder.
He had served in the Great War, firstly as a Colour Sergeant in the Durban Light Infantry, which served in German South West Africa (now called Namibia). When he was commissioned, he transferred to the British Army, and served with the Royal Field Artillery, on the Western Front, where he was decorated with the Military Cross twice.
After the Great War ended, Cecil Ralph-Smith returned the UK, and continued to serve as an officer the newly created Territorial Army, firstly in Peterborough, where he was from, and then, as his business interests moved, to Newcastle upon Tyne, and then, finally, to Bramley in Leeds.
He was promoted to Major and commanded the battery at Bramley.
Major Ralph-Smith was invalided out of the Army shortly after the Second World War began as he was ill and required an operation. Immediately prior to the start of the war, he was resident in a nursing home, while his wife continued to live at their home in Whinmoor Gardens, Shadwell. Major Ralph-Smith returned to Whinmoor Gardens after his operation, but he died there on 8th February 1940.
Currently, Major Ralph-Smith is not listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's casualty database, and this is due to him having been invalided out of the Army before his operation and subsequent death. The rules the Commission uses to grant war graves status to casualties of war are strict, but clear, and the Commission is happy to receive evidence of qualification if someone has been overlooked for war graves status. I will investigate to see if his cause of death was the same as that which caused him to be be discharged from the army prior to his operation. If the two are the same, a case may be submitted to CWGC for their consideration, and Major Ralph-Smith could be granted war graves status, his name added to the database, and his grave protected, or if he was cremated, his name to be on a crematorium register.
Check back for a full biography when research is completed.