25th County of London Cyclist Battalion
The London Regiment

Col. Gilbertson SMITH


There seems to be some confusion as to his correct name. In the 25th London's address book he is listed as H. Gilbertson-Smith of Highlands, Brentwood (Essex). However it appears his name was not a hyphenated surname but a christian name and surname, i.e. Gilbertson SMITH.

The 25th London address book lists his address as "Highlands, Brentwood". This matches the 1911 census record of :-
Gilbertson SMITH, age 43, Marr, Solicitor, born Brixton, Surrey, address - Highlands, Brentwood, wife Isabel Emily age 41 yrs.
This ties in with the birth and baptism of a Gilberton SMITH, born 16th Oct 1867, baptised 26 Dec 1867 at St. Saviour, Ruskin Park, the son of Henry John (solicitor) & Mary Augusta SMITH.
Marriage - Gilbertson SMITH, 26yrs, bachelor, Solicitor, 12 Angel Park Gardens, son of Henry John SMITH, Solicitor married Isabel Emily Tolcher, spinster, of 7 Dover Mansions, Canterbury Rd, daughter of Henry Harrison Tolcher, Short hand writer.

However to confuse things the address book records him as H. Gilberton-Smith. The 25th London book records him as Gilbertson SMITH with a cross reference under GILBERTSON.

Colonel Sir Gilbertson Smith, TD, DL
by Maurice Frederick Codner
Date : 1944 Collection: Essex County Council


The following is a letter in his service records in the National Archives :-
227th (Mixed) Brigade,
1. I request that you will forward and recommend this my application that I may be selected in accordance with the Army Order 34 of 1919 for promotion to the substantive rank of Colonel in the Territorial Force.
2. I raised what is now the 1/25th Cyclist Battn, The London Regiment, in April 1908 and commanded it as Lt. Colonel till May 1915 when I retired and was appointed Hon. Colonel of the Battalion.
3. I raised the 2/25th Cyclist Battalion, London Regiment, in August 1914 and have commaned it to date and have therefore completed 9 years and 7 months in the rank of Lt-Colonel.
4. Having joined the Volunteers in 1888 as a private and served through all ranks up to Sarjeant, I then received my Commission. I was Adjutant of my Volunteer Battalion for several years and commanded it as Major Commandant for 4 years.
5. I am one of the originators of the use of the cycle for Military purposes and my promotion to the substantive rank of Colonel would be soem recognition of my services to Military Cycling and my 31 years service in the Volunteers and Territorials.
(signed) Gilberton Smith
Lt Col hon? Col
2/25th (Cyclist) Battn. London Regt.
Wickham Market,
2nd. April 1919.

[He was recommended for promotion to the rank of Colonel, Territorial Force, which was approved by the selection board on the 29th April 1919.]
Bonhams auction of Gilbertson Smith's helmet
27 Nov 2013 13:00 GMT
Antique Arms and Armour
Bonhams, Knightsbridge
A Rare 1878 Pattern Grey Cloth Helmet Of An Officer In The 26th Middlesex Rifle (Cyclists) Volunteers
The grey cloth-covered skull (peak with area of minor moth damage, some minor staining) with all its silver-plated fittings, the QVC frontal plate of regulation star pattern with laurel overlays and title circle 'Middlesex Cyclist Vols.' centred on a cycle wheel against a red cloth ground, rose pattern supporters with patent leather-lined chin-chain, the interior with original leather lined sweat-band and attached purple silk trim, green-cloth peak liners, and in fine condition: in its japanned carrying tin (lid and escutcheons corroded) with Hawkes & Co. brass retailer's shield, and escutcheon engraved 'Captn. Gilbertson Smith 26 Midd.x CV'.
[The helmet was bought by a member of the Wandsworth Historical Society who has been collecting uniforms belonging to one of the Battalion’s early members, Major (later Colonel) Gilbertson Smith.
http://www.wandsworthhistory.org.uk/previous_talks_reports.htm - last item on page]
National Army Museum Catalogue
# Description Object Type NAM Accession Number
1 Ten uniform and equipment items, 25th (County of London) Cyclist Bn The London Regiment, worn by Col Sir G Gilbertson Smith, 1912 (c). Uniforms 1968-01-55
2 Two waistbelts and shoulder sling, Sam Browne, 25th (County of London) Cyclist Bn The London Regiment Territorial Force, worn by Col Sir Gilbertson Smith, 1915 (c). Equipment, uniform 27/08/1976


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