Smellie, John Frederick (Jack)
No. 158421, 1st Wing, the Glider Pilot Regiment, Army Air Corps
Died on active service on Saturday 23 September 1944 (aged 30)
Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands (Grave 6. A. 4)
Holywood and District War Memorial
Queen’s University Belfast
Royal Courts of Justice Belfast
McLean family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery
Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Philip and St. James)
Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club Holywood
John Frederick (Jack) Smellie was born on 21 January 1914 in West View, Blackrock, Co Cork, and he was a son of Nicholas Sarens Herbert Smellie and Ileen Mary Smellie (nee McLean, sometimes Maclean) of Plasmerdyn, Holywood, Co. Down. They were married on 4 October 1910 in Drumcannon Parish Church of Ireland Church, Co. Waterford. Herbert Smellie, a bank official born in 1883 was a son of Herbert and Anna Smellie. Ileen McLean, a governess, was a daughter of John McLean, a solicitor, of Rose Bank Terrace, Tramore, Co. Waterford.
After their marriage, Herbert and Ileen Smellie lived in Dundanion, Blackrock, Co. Cork. They had two sons, both of whom attended Campbell College, Belfast:
Herbert Wilkin James (born 15 June 1911 in West View, Blackrock, Co Cork)
John Frederick (Jack, born 21 January 1914 in West View, Blackrock, Co Cork)
In school records they are recorded as being sons of Mrs Wood; Nicholas Sarens Herbert Smellie died on 25 March 1922 at King Edward VII Hospital, Ealing, Middlesex.
John Frederick (Jack) Smellie attended Campbell College from April 1924 until July 1932 and he played rugby for the school. In his last term he was acting Head Prefect and Pipe Major in the school’s Officers’ Training Corps (OTC). He was a senior member of the School Scout Troop and later he became Scoutmaster of the Holywood Troop. John Frederick (Jack) Smellie studied at Queen’s University Belfast where he qualified as a solicitor.
During the Second World War John Frederick (Jack) Smellie served in the 6th Airborne Division with the Glider Pilot Regiment, Army Air Corps and he died on 23 September 1944 at Arnhem. He was buried in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands, and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
THEM ALSO WHICH SLEEP IN JESUS
WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM.
1. THESS. IV. 14
Two tributes were published in The Campbellain, Volume 11 No. 3 (July 1945) and Volume 11 No. 4 (December 1945). One included the sentence, ‘He was endowed with a great personal charm and though modest and self-effacing he was able to get things done and done well.’
Captain John Frederick (Jack) Smellie was 30 when he died, and he is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial; in Queen’s University Belfast; in the Royal Courts of Justice Belfast; on the McLean family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery (where he is described as a grandson of John McLean); in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Philip and St. James), and in the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club Holywood.