Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 141 years

Memorable Manitobans: J. Ambrose Smith (1878-?)


Born at Heaton Mersey, Lancashire, 2 August 1878. Son of John Thompson Smith and Mary Ann Wilson Povah. Married Margaret Grand, 1914. Was educated at Shrewsbury School. First Commission with Manchester Regiment, 1896-1899. Land agency with father, who was principal agent for Earl Egerton of Taton, Taton Park, Cheshire to 1908. Came to Canada, travelled over the Dominion, finally settling in Winnipeg and establishing present business, 1911; at the outbreak of the late War Colonel Smith reported to the British War Office and was posted to “The Lancashire Fusiliers” as captain, 15th Battalion; was also with 16th Battalion, 19th Battalion; France with 19th Battalion, 96th Brigade in 1915 as company commander. Major, June 1915; mentioned in dispatches, June 1916; second in command, 10 June 1916; Somme, 1 July; taking and holding Leipsig salient, 17 July; taking of Ovillers La Boisselle with 2nd South Lancashire Regiment; battalion transferred to 49th Division; battle of Nieuport and Ypres, 1917; mentioned in dispatches, April 1918. Acting Lieutenant-Colonel, 1 February 1918; on 9 April, battalion en route from Ypres salient was diverted with orders to hold up German advance on Kemmell Hill, occupied trenches on forward slopes of hill, repulsed three German attacks; French 99th Regiment came to assistance; decorated on the field by French Commander with Croix de Guerre (Ordre de Division); when relieved from line, became counter attack and support battalion for 99th French; on 21 April, 99th French relieved by 416th French Regiment; night of 24 April, German attack broke 416th French Regiment; remnants of battalion held up German advance until surrounded, but held long enough to re-enable line to be established in the rear; wounded and taken prisoner. Lieutenant-Colonel, 19 June 1919 on completion of service. President, Imperial Veterans in Canada, Winnipeg Unit, 1922, 23, 24. President, Imperial Veterans in Canada, Dominion Command, 1923. Clubs: Junior Army and Navy, Cranford, Manitoba, United Service. Anglican. Residence, 916 North Drive, Fort Garry, Winnipeg.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Page revised: 26 December 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2020 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.