A married man from Bromley, Surrey,
Roxburgh-Smith was in his thirties when he joined the Royal Flying Corps. Quite a bit
older than his peers, he became known as "Dad." In 1917, while serving
with 60 Squadron, he was injured in a crash while flying the Nieuport Scout. Returning to duty, he
served as a flight instructor before being posted to France with 74 Squadron in 1918.
Eventually becoming a flight commander, he flew the S.E.5a with Edward Mannock's flight. On
19 July 1918, after scoring his eighth victory, Roxburgh Smith was shot down but survived
with only minor injuries. By the end of the war, he achieved 22 victories and was the
third highest scoring ace to serve with 74 Squadron.
Listed as "Benjamin Roxburgh Smith" in the birth registry (2nd quarter 1884, at Wandsworth, Greater London).
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
"Lieut. (T./Capt.) Benjamin Roxburgh-
This officer has shot down six enemy aeroplanes during the last few months. Bold in attack, skilful in defence, he is a valuable airman."
Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 November 1918 (30989/12972)
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Bar
"Lt (A./Capt.) Benjamin Roxburgh-Smith, D.F.C., (FRANCE)
A leader of outstanding merit whose influence has had a great effect on maintaining the morale of his squadron. He has engaged in many combats with hostile aeroplanes, displaying marked skill and courage. Since May last he has accounted for twelve hostile machines."
Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 February 1919 (31170/2033)