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General Sir John Smith, GCH (22 February 1754 – 2 July 1837) was a British Army officer.

Smith was born at Brighton, Sussex, although nothing is known of his parents. He entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a cadet on 1 March 1768 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on 15 March 1771. In 1773, he was posted to Canada. On the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Smith found himself attacked by the Americans in the garrison of St John's. After a two-month siege, during which he was twice slightly wounded, Smith and the other defenders surrendered on 2 November 1775 and were taken prisoner. Smith was exchanged in January 1777, rejoined the British forces at Rhode Island, and subsequently took part in Sir William Howe's Philadelphia campaign, seeing action at Brandywine, Germantown, and the capture of Mud Island. In 1778, he served under Sir Henry Clinton during the withdrawal to New York and saw further combat at the Monmouth.

Smith was promoted to first lieutenant on 7 July 1779 and was present at the capture of Charleston on 12 May 1780. In 1781, he served in Virginia before being forced to surrender at Yorktown on 20 October with the rest of Lord Cornwallis' army. Released on parole, he returned to England and was promoted to captain lieutenant on 28 February 1782. He married, at Chatham on 17 April 1782, Grace Weatherall (1751/2–1832), with whom he had five children. In 1785, he went to Gibraltar and was stationed there for five years; his promotion to captain on 21 May 1790 brought him command of number 6 company, the 1st battalion of the Royal Artillery. On 6 March 1795, he received his majority.

Smith had been appointed second in command of the artillery intended to accompany Lord Moira's expedition to France, but in October 1795, he was ordered instead to the West Indies with Sir Ralph Abercromby. He was present at the capture of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent in 1796, and commanded the artillery at the capture of Trinidad from the Spanish in February 1797. Command of all thirteen companies of the Royal Artillery serving in the West Indies then fell to him, and on 27 August 1797, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. Sickness compelled his return to England soon after.

In September and October 1799, Smith commanded the artillery park during the Duke of York's expedition to the Netherlands. He fought at the battles of 2 and 6 October, received the thanks of the commander-in-chief for his services, and returned to England with the rest of the army at the beginning of November. On 20 July 1804, he was promoted to colonel and given command of the artillery at Gibraltar. He remained there for ten years, during which time he was promoted to major general on 25 July 1810 and twice placed in temporary command of the fortress. On 3 July 1815, he was appointed colonel commandant of the 7th battalion of the Royal Artillery, was promoted to lieutenant general in 1819, and made a GCH on 10 August 1831. He transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery as colonel-commandant in 1833 and was promoted to full general on 10 January 1837. He died on 2 July 1837, aged eighty-three, at Charlton, Kent, and was buried in the churchyard of St Luke's, Charlton, on 10 July.




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