The AIF Project

John Herbert SMITH

Regimental number2013
Place of birthElmore, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressHervey Street Elmore, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 8"
Weight161 lbs
Next of kinFather, James Smith, Hervey Street, Elmore, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date13 January 1915
Place of enlistmentBendigo, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 17 April 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 22 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 13 June 1915. Wounded in action, 8 August 1915 (fractured right leg);admitted to 'Canada' and transferred to 19th General Hospital, Alexandria, 13 August 1915; discharged from hospital, 23 September 1915.

Embarked for England, 23 September 1915, and admitted to Bethnal Green Military Hospital, 5 October 1915 (not yet diagnosed).Taken on strength, No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 4 August 1916.

Admitted to Parkhouse Military Hospital, 29 March 1917; transferred to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 30 March 1917; transferred to Parkhouse Military Hospital, 28 April 1917; total period of treatment for venereal disease, cured: 35 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 27 May 1917; rejoined unit, Belgium, 18 June 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 22 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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