The AIF Project

William SMITH

Regimental number1112
Place of birthFrieth, Hambleden, Henley on Thames, England
Place of birthHenley-on-Thames, England
SchoolFrieth, Henley on Thames, England
Age on arrival in Australia30
ReligionChurch of England
AddressPO, Murrumburrah, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation35
Next of kinSister, Mrs W Higgs, Gassons Cottage, near Wallingford, Berks, England
Previous military serviceServed in Boer War, 7 years as a soldier.
Enlistment date9 October 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll8 October 1914
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A19 Afric on 18 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularReceived 2 medals, one from Queen Victoria, one from King Edward and three bars for Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Johannesberg.
FateKilled in Action 3 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Age at death41
Age at death from cemetery records41
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: William and Jane SMITH; husband of Constance SMITH, Flint Cottage, Frieth, Henley-on-Thames, England. Native of Frieth
Family/military connectionsNil

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