Captain Antony Raymond Jabez-Smith TD, ‘Tony’ to his friends, fellow officers and Brethren, was a solicitor and Victoria Rifles Officer. He went to Clifton, where he was in the OTC.
He joined the Regiment as a young subaltern after Clifton, whilst qualifying as a solicitor. He had been promoted Captain before the Second World War broke out.
He went to France with the Regiment under Lt Col John Arthur Mowbray Ellison-Macartney TD commanding D Company’s Company H.Q. Platoon and was taken prisoner at Calais in 1940, remaining in captivity until 1945 and liberation by advanced elements of the 2nd US Infantry Division. His camp registration card is shown below.
After the war he served as a Solicitor to H M Customs & Excise, and also worked in the Cabinet Secretary’s office. He was heavily involved in drafting a new constitution for Nigeria. Tony subsequently became a partner in the City solicitors, Herbert Oppenheimer, Nathan & Vandyke, remaining there many years, enjoying a widespread practice which included drafting Ghana’s Customs statute. Genial, reliable and painstaking he became a friend for life with his partners and staff alike. During his time in private practice he was Chairman for several years of the Law Society’s Solicitors’ Clerks Pension Fund, which became the Cheviot Trust.
He was initiated into the Lodge after the war, in 1949. He advanced through the offices until he was installed in the Worshipful Master’s Chair in October 1956. He would serve again in 1962. He received London Grand Rank in1965.
Jabez-Smith became the Lodge’s first Almoner in 1973, holding that office until 1988.
He was a member of the Kensington Society, whose Executive Committee he was appointed in 1982. Two years later he became Chairman, serving in that post until 1986, then becoming Vice Chairman until 1989. In 1990 he joined the Society’s Council, of which he was still a member at the time of his death. He was a regular contributor to the Annual Report, and for some time also proof-read some of the material in the Report.
He was also a great supporter of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archeological Society, building on his love of the Lakes he got from his mother Dorothy (nee Lamplugh).
He died in May 2000, just short of his 86th birthday. He was “well-read, a bon viveur, excellent company, and a polymath”.