Brigadier General C.A. Smart
2nd Mounted Rifles Brigade
Germany waged war with one idea, and that was world domination or disaster. Well, she had achieved the alternative—disaster—and let her pay the price.
(Smart quoted in Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 16 Nov 1918)
Born in Westmount, Quebec on 1 January 1875, Charles Allen Smart was a militia officer, manufacturer, and politician. Commissioned since 1898, he commanded the Eastern Townships Cavalry Brigade and was elected to the legislative assembly as Conservative member for Westmount in 1912. With the formation of the Canadian Mounted Rifles, militia minister Sam Hughes offered Smart the command of the 2nd CMR Brigade in July 1915.
Although originally planned to serve in Egypt against the Turks, the CMR regiments deployed to France in October 1915 as dismounted infantry. Smart quickly fell ill with bronco-pneumonia and returned to England. The CMR brigades were disbanded in January 1916 and the remaining CMR regiments were absorbed into the 8th Infantry Brigade.
Smart spent the remainder of the war assigned to training duties in England. From October 1916 until April 1917, he commanded the headquarters at Crowborough before taking over the headquarters at Shorncliffe until the end of the war. When he returned to the legislative assembly in 1919, Smart levelled charges of incompetence and negligence against the Overseas Ministry concerning medical care and proper administration.
He served seven-terms in the legislative assembly until 1936. He was appointed to Legislative Council of Quebec but died soon thereafter on 4 June 1937.