Randle Frederick Hicks Darwall-Smith

Personnel header
Major Randle Frederick Hicks Darwall-Smith
Life dates
11 Jul 1914 - 13 Jul 1999
Profile Picture
Profile picture

He married Josephine Barbara Compton of Betton Hall, Drayton, a teacher, in 1940 in Whitchurch, Shropshire, and they had 3 sons. She died in 1961 and he was advertising for domestic help at their home Riggs, Arundell Road, Seaford, Sussex.

Unit or location Role Posted from until
Duntish Court, Dorset Intelligence Officer 12 Dec 1942 13 Aug 1943
Dorset Intelligence Officer 12 Dec 1942 02 Feb 1943
Dorset Intelligence Officer 04 Feb 1943 13 Aug 1943
Norfolk Intelligence Officer 13 Aug 1943 03 Dec 1944
Essex Intelligence Officer 01 Jan 1941 11 Dec 1942
River House, Essex Intelligence Officer 1942 1942

Charterhouse, Oxford

The Royal Sussex Regiment
Military number
Commissioned or Enlisted
9 Aug 1939

Post war Headmaster


He commanded C Company, 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment which formed part of the British Expeditionary Force in France

18 May 1940 2nd Lieutenant R.F.H Darwall-Smith was reported wounded as part of the Expeditionary Force in France. The train carrying the 7th Royal Sussex was bombed shortly after reaching Amiens station. A bomb hit the Officers coach (the men were in cattle trucks) killing 3 and wounding 10. He was sufficiently wounded to have to be evacuated, another officer taking command of his company. However this meant he missed the action two days later, when the Battalion was all but destroyed trying to prevent the advance of a German Panzer Division. Most of the survivors were captured and spent the war as prisoners. He was presumably evacuated with other casualties from France. 

Dec 1941 7th Battalion Royal Sussex was disbanded. Most of the men left by April and it is thought he transferred to Auxiliary Units at the start of the year. He was joined by Captain J.W Holberton who transferred from the same battalion to become Intelligence Officer in Suffolk.

Intelligence Officer Essex as Captain 1941 to 22 Jan 1942

Intelligence Officer Dorset as Captain from 12 Dec 1942 at Bingham Melcombe House

Promoted Acting Major 4 Feb 1943 and between 16 March 1943 and 13 Aug 1943 was at Duntish Court, Dorset.

Intelligence Officer Norfolk as Major. Arrived 13 Aug 1943 and was still there  22 Apr 1944.

11 Jul 1964 ceased to belong to Territorial Reserve Officer

Bingham's Melcombe House, Dorset
Other information

Oxford University 1935-1939 cricket team

Headmaster school at Seaford, Sussex
Played one season first class cricket for Sussex (1946)

Family connections
Brother John Anderton Darwall-Smith, born 1912, served with Phantom (GHQ Liaison Regiment)

He can be seen second from right in the front of a photo of the Officers of the 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment taken in March 1940.

Other pictures
Profile picture
Caption & credit
Darwall-Smith 1960s using Commando knife as letter opener (from David Lampe)
Profile picture
Caption & credit
TNA-WO199.3265-Norfolk IO
Profile picture
Caption & credit
Darwell-Smith Casualty TNA ref WO417/1

London Gazette April 1950

Army List

The Last Ditch, David Lampe

The Times 1936

British Army Casualty List TNA ref WO417/1

Wisden Cricket Monthly

War Diary 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment

Photo of Officers of 7th Battalion Royal Sussex


Page Sponsor