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Honoring Service: Veteran Daniel Drake-Smith, WWI

Our reporting on local veterans is a collaboration with RyeVets.org to highlight those from Rye who have served our country across times of war and peace. There are over 2,100 veterans from the City of Rye. Learn more about how you can help research and write biographies of those that have served.

Honoring Service - 062023 - Daniel Drake-Smith
Daniel Drake-Smith

Daniel Drake-Smith was born on September 5, 1895, in New York City, New York. His parents, Clara Lagrave (34 years old) and Barstow Drake Smith (39 years old), resided on Forest Ave in Rye and were members of Christ’s Church. He received his education in New York City and Rye, graduating from St. Paul School in Concord, N.H., in 1914.

Branch of Service: U.S. Navy

Veteran Code: WWI-75

During both World War I and World War II, Daniel served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He left Yale in his junior year to join Yale Batteries with the Tenth Field Artillery for Mexican border service. In 1917, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was commissioned as an ensign in 1918. During World War I, he served aboard the USS “Arizona” with the Atlantic Fleet.

After receiving his B.A. degree from Yale, Daniel attended Columbia Law School and graduated with an L.L.D. in 1926. He practiced law in New York City and Westchester County. At the age of 30, he married Helen Bodington in 1925.

In 1941, Daniel was recalled to active duty with the U.S. Naval Reserve as a lieutenant commander. He later served at the headquarters of the 3rd Naval District as a commander. During World War II, he held positions as the executive officer and acting commanding officer of the Naval Receiving Barracks in Lido Beach, Fla., and was on the staff of the commanding general of the 24th Division in the Pacific Theatre. In 1945, he returned to inactive duty due to physical disability.

Daniel lived with his family on Forest Avenue in Rye for many years, and the Drake-Smith Woods, located off Forest Avenue, was named after his family. He was a member of various clubs including the American Yacht Club in Rye, the Sakomet Golf Club, the Sakomet Yacht Club, and the Warren Point Beach Club in Little Compton, RI. He later retired from the New York law firm of Larkin Rathbone and Perry. Daniel was also a member of Christ’s Episcopal Church in Rye.

Daniel Drake-Smith passed away on April 15, 1957, from a heart attack at Union Hospital in Fall River, Mass. He resided in Little Compton, R.I., at the time of his death. Funeral services were held at Christ’s Church, conducted by the Reverend Dr. Wendell Phillips. He was survived by his wife, Helen, and a sister, Mrs. Monroe Maltby of New York City. Daniel was laid to rest in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn. More on Drake-Smith.


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