Long before joining the 3rd Hussars Fred Smith had been a gunner, enlisting in the TA in early 1939, and then embodied into full-time service in September of that year.
The majority of his service with the Royal Artillery was in combat, serving in the ill-fated Norwegian expedition of 1940, at the Battle of El Alamein and the Battle of Casino in Italy.
He took his discharge at the end of World War Two.
Unable to settle in civilian life, during which time he became a short-lived member of the Communist Party, he re-enlisted after six months, opting for service in the Royal Armoured Corps.
He was allocated to the 3rd Hussars and joined ‘B’ Squadron at Perham Down in 1947. He rapidly gained promotion to sergeant and was employed as a troop sergeant in ‘A’ Squadron.
He qualified as a D&M instructor and was employed as such at Mons Officers’ Cadet School. On his return to the Regiment, now the Queen’s Own Hussars, he was promoted WO2 and appointed SSM of ‘B’ Squadron.
This was his last appointment at Regimental Duty and he was then posted to the Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry as a permanent staff instructor.
On completion of this tour he joined the recruiting staff at the Coventry Recruiting office from where he took his discharge from the Army in 1970.
He settled in Coventry where he worked until his retirement in 1985. ‘Soldier Smith’, as he was affectionately known, always set high standards and expected the same from others.