Roger Noel Compton-Smith
Roger Noel Compton-Smith was a Manchester FC player who served as a 2nd Lieutenant the Manchester Regiment in Gallipoli. He was born in Hampton Court and grew up in the south of England, before moving to Cottonopolis to work for the (sharply-named) Manchester House of Tootal Broadhurst Lee Company, Ltd. As war broke out he was supposed to be in North America on business, but instead he joined up with the 6th Manchesters on the 4th September 1914. His first post was in Alexandria, Egypt, where on one occasion he saved the life of one of his company who had fallen into difficulty whilst swimming. In May 1915, the Manchesters arrived in the Dardanelles.
Of Compton-Smith, Brigadier General Noel Lee (his uncle and commander) wrote;
“With the mess he was always popular and more than respected on account of his character. His men of No. 15 Platoon literally worshipped him, as he was not only their officer but their leader, who never spared himself, and their friend upon whom they could always rely for help.”
In that vein, Compton-Smith was shot on the 27th May 1915, as he tried to evacuate his men from a trench that was under threat from being overrun by the Ottomans.
He died of wounds received in battle on the 27th May 1915.
Compton-Smith is remembered at Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Panel 171-173
World Rugby Museum
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