The AIF Project


Regimental number4326
Place of birthParramatta, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School, Chapel Street, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLoco fireman
AddressPetersham Road, Marrickville, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 10"
Weight151 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr R Smith, Petersham Road, Marrickville, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets.
Enlistment date7 September 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll6 September 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death28
Age at death from cemetery records28
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Richard and Amelia SMITH, 90 Petersham Road, Marrickville, New South Wales
Other details

War service: allotted to and proceeded to join 2nd Bn, Tel el Kebir, 14 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 22 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 28 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 23 July 1916 (gun shot wound, left shoulder); admitted to No. 1 Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 24 July 1916. Transferred to England, 25 July 1916, and admitted to 3rd Western General Hospital, Newport, 26 July 1916. Taken on strength, No. 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, from No. 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 11 September 1916; transferred to No. 3 Command Depot, 13 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 11 November 1916; rejoined 2nd Bn, 24 November 1916.

Admitted to Anzac Corps Rest Station, 25 January 1917 (trench feet); transferred to No. 6 General Hospital, 18 February 1917; to England, 25 February 1917, and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, 27 February 1917; transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, 23 March 1917; granted furlough, 27 April-12 May 1917, to report to Training Depot, Perham Downs. Found guilty, 12 May 1917, of being absent without leave, 3.30 pm, 12 May, till 3 pm, 15 May 1917: awarded 7 days confined to camp, and forfeited 4 days' pay. Marched out to No. 3 Command Depot, 2 June 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 16 July 1917; rejoined Bn, 30 July 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 19 September 1917.

Adjutant, 2nd Bn, stated: '[SMITH] was killed instantaneously by shell-fire whilst this unit was in support at POLYGON WOOD, YPRES. He was buried on the parapet close to where he fell (Zouave Trench), a rough wooden cross marking the position.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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