Paul Smyth was born in Highgate in 1883. At the rather late age of 31 he signed up with the 2/7th Middlesex regiment and sailed for Gibraltar in January the same year. He was stationed in the Rock for about eight months before leaving for Egypt.
Paul Smyth after he had been made a Commissioned Officer in 1916
While on the Rock Smyth was arrested while attempting to make a sketch of the town - The First World War was taking its toll on the nerves of the Rock's military authorities at the time. Common sense, however, seems to have prevailed as he ended up painting several conventional but nevertheless charming views of and from Gibraltar .