The AIF Project

Ernest Edward SMITH

Regimental number1587
Date of birth21 June 1894
Place of birthPerth, Western Australia
SchoolNorth Perth State School, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
Address15 Ethel Street, North Perth, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 4.25"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinFather, Ernest Smith, 15 Ethel Street, North Perth, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets, Area 88B.
Enlistment date3 May 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll29 April 1915
Place of enlistmentPerth, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name28th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/45/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 5 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll28th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death19.1
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Ernest and Catherine SMITH, 95 Alma Road, North Perth, Western Australia
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 4 September 1915.

Admitted to 7th Field Ambulance, 16 September 1915 (chancre), and transferred to 16th Casualty Clearing Station; to Forrest Hospital, Malta, 21 September 1915; discharged to rejoin unit, 6 October 1915; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 19 days.

Disembarked Alexandria from Malta, 9 October 1915.

Embarked Alexandria, 18 October 1915; admitted to Advanced Base, Mudros, 28 October 1915; rejoined 28th Bn, Gallipoli, 5 November 1915.

Admitted to 13th Casualty Clearing Station, 20 November 1915 (jaundice); transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 26 November 1915; to Convalescent Depot, Helouan, 10 December 1915; discharged to unit, 14 December 1915; returned to duty, Tel el Kebir, 10 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 21 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 14 April 1916 (bullet wound, right foot), and transferred to 8th Casualty Clearing Station.

Admitted to 2nd Division Rest Station, 17 April 1916 (pyrexia); returned to duty, 21 April 1916.

Killed in action, 29 July 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsName entered on Embarkation Roll as Edward Ernest SMITH.
SourcesNAA: B2455, SMITH Ernest Edward

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