Smyth, David McCully (No. 7741)

Smyth, David McCully (David)

Company Sergeant Major

No. 7741, Royal Irish Rifles attached 6th King’s African Rifles

Died of disease on Wednesday 16 January 1918 (aged 31)


Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery, Tanzania (Grave 5. F. 16)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for

Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards


In some records, his surname is spelt Smith.

David McCully Smyth was born on 1 June 1886 in the townland of Ballyhay, Donaghadee and he was a son of Samuel and Margaret (Maggie) Smyth (nee Arnold, sometimes Arnott) who were married on 9 February 1878 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.

The Smyth family lived in Loughriscouse, Ballyhay and at 87 Mill Street, Newtownards.  Samuel Smyth worked as a farmer, general labourer and coal dealer and he and Maggie had at least eleven children:

William James (born 16 July 1878 in Loughriscouse, Newtownards)

Thomas (born 2 January 1880 in Loughriscouse, Newtownards)

Samuel (born 21 January 1882 in Loughriscouse, Newtownards)

James (born 9 September 1884 in Loughriscouse, Newtownards)

David McCully (born 8 June 1886 in Ballyhay, Donaghadee)

John (born 24 November 1888 in Ballyhay, Donaghadee)

Hugh (born 16 March 1890 in Ballyhay, Donaghadee)

Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 14 March 1892 in Ballyhay, Donaghadee)

Maggie (born 17 December 1893 in Ballyhay, Donaghadee)

George (born 16 January 1896 in Ballyhay, Donaghadee)

William Henry (born around 1899/1900)

The older children were baptised in Ballycopeland Presbyterian Church and the younger ones in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War David Smyth worked as a house painter.  He enlisted in Belfast and served with the Royal Irish Rifles.  It was reported in the 26 January 1918 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle that Company Sergeant Major David Smyth had succumbed to malarial fever when doing his duty for King and Country at Tabora during the fighting in German East Africa.  He was 31 when he died on 16 January 1918 in Tabora Hospital and he was buried in Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery in the territory of Tanganyika, (now Tanzania).

A year after David’s death his father, mother, brothers and sisters placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 18 January 1919 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.

Company-Sergeant-Major David Smyth (No. 7741) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the PCI Roll of Honour for Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.