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Sir Henry Abel Smith
Henry Abel Smith and Lady May Cambridge.
Born (1900-03-08)March 8, 1900
Died January 24, 1993(1993-01-24) (aged 92)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Years of service 1919-1950
Rank Colonel
Awards Companion of the Distinguished Service Order

Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith KCMG KCVO DSO (8 March 1900 – 24 January 1993) was a British Army officer and a Governor of Queensland.

Biography[edit | edit source]

He was born in London, on 8 March 1900, the son of Francis Abel Smith and wife Madeline St. Maur Seymour. His grandparents were Henry Abel-Smith and Elizabeth Mary Pym, and his great-grandparents were Francis Pym and Lady Lucy Leslie-Meville, daughter of Alexander Leslie-Melville, 9th Earl of Leven. He was also a descendant of Edward Seymour, 8th Duke of Somerset[1]

Abel Smith was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in December 1919. He served in the Second World War, winning the Distinguished Service Order. He retired as a Colonel in 1950.

On 24 October 1931, he married Lady May Cambridge, at St. Mary's Church, Balcombe, Sussex. She was born Princess May of Teck, and was a niece of King George V and Queen Mary, and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. They had three children:

  • Anne Mary Sibylla Abel Smith (born 28 July 1932); she married David Liddell-Grainger (26 January 1930 - 12 March 2007) on 14 December 1957; they were divorced in 1981 but have five children and eight grandchildren. Her eldest son is the Conservative Member of Parliament Ian Liddell-Grainger.
  • Colonel Richard Francis Abel Smith (11 October 1933–23 December 2004); he married Marcia Kendrew (born 27 March 1940) on 28 April 1960; they have one daughter and four grandchildren.
  • Elizabeth Alice Abel Smith (born 5 September 1936); she married Peter Wise (born 29 December 1929) on 29 April 1965; they divorced in 1975 and had one daughter who died as an infant from a barbiturate overdose.

Sir Henry was appointed Governor of Queensland from 18 March 1958, serving until 18 March 1966. He was highly respected in the office of governor. People lined the streets as a mark of high esteem to farewell him and Lady May Abel Smith on their final day in office on their way to Brisbane Airport. Sir Henry died at Barton Lodge, Winkfield, Berkshire, on 24 January 1993. His funeral service took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. His cremated remains were buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. His wife survived him by only sixteen months.

Titles, styles, honours, and arms[edit | edit source]

Honours[edit | edit source]

Ribbon bars of Col. Sir Henry Abel Smith
Decorations

External links[edit | edit source]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Lavarack
Governor of Queensland
1958 – 1966
Succeeded by
Sir Alan Mansfield

References[edit | edit source]

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