The AIF Project

Spencer Stanley SMITH

Regimental number2666
Place of birthGills Country, Tasmania
SchoolWest Zeehan State School, Tasmania
Address63 Fraser Street, West Brunswick, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 4"
Weight128 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A Smith, 63 Fraser Street,West Brunswick, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the Senior Cadets. (Previously rejected for enlistment in Citizen Military Forces on account of sprained ankle.); Served in Cadets Area 59B, West Brunswick, Victoria.
Enlistment date14 June 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name7th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/24/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 26 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death20
Age at death from cemetery records20
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: Ernest and Ada SMITH, 2 Barrow Stret, Brunswick, Victoria. Native of Gould's Country, Tasmania
Family/military connectionsUncle: Sergeant Leslie John BIRKETT, 12th Bn , killed in action, 5 May 1917.
Other details

War service: admitted to ANZAC Advanced Base, Mudros, from Alexandria, 18 November 1915; joined 7th Bn, Lemnos, 20 November 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British expeditionary Force, 26 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 31 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 21 August 1916 (shrapnel wound, left hand), and admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance; transferred to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, 24 August 1916; to 1st Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, 24 August 1916; to No 6 convalescent Depot, Etaples, 29 August 1916; discharged to duty, 11 September 1916; taken on strength, 58th Bn, 11 October 1916.

Wounded in action, 30 October 1916 (gun wound, left leg); admitted same day to 36th Casualty Clearing Station, and transferred by Ambulance train to 11th General Hospital, Camiers, and admitted, 31 October 1916. transferred to England, 8 November 1916, and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital (date not recorded); transferred to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Southall, 24 November 1916; to Infantry Draft Depot, Wareham, 2 February 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 2 February 1917; rejoined unit, 22 February 1917.

Reported missing in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917; fate subsequently confirmed as killed in action.

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

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