The AIF Project

William SMITH

Regimental number1870
Place of birthDurban, South Africa
ReligionChurch of England
Address110 King Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, New Zealand
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation35.7
Height5' 7"
Weight175 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs L Davis, 110 King Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, New Zealand
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date11 January 1915
Place of enlistmentClaremont, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 19 April 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Cyclists Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 13 April 1919
Discharge date14 August 1919
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Wounded in action, Gallipoli, 7 August 1915 (right shoulder and hand).

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 2 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916.

Transferred to 1st Anzac Cyclists Bn, 9 July 1916.

Commenced return to Australia from Devonport on board HT 'Castalia', 13 April 1919; discharged (termination of period of enlistment), Hobart, 14 August 1919.

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

In August 1916 the New Zealand authorities wrote to Base Records Melbourne, that Smith was in fact 6/1250 Pte William Henry Thompson BROWN, who had embarked from Wellington with the Second Reinforcements on the Canterbury Infantry Bn, NZEF, and had deserted in Hobart where he enlisted in the AIF. Major J. Lean, the head of Base Records, wrote to the Adjutant General, 26 August 1916: 'In view of the fact that this soldier has rendered the service for which he enlisted, although not with the Force he is stated to have originally joined, it is suggested that the New Zealand Military Authorities be requested to take no further action in the matter. This practice obtains in the Royal Australian Navy where, if a man deserts and is subsequently found to be serving with the Expeditionary Forces, he is granted a clearance from his obligations in respect of the Naval services. Similar action on the part of the New Zealand Authorities would be an act of grace to the soldier concerned who has done his duty.'
SourcesNAA: B2455, SMITH William
Archives New Zealand (Wellington), Agency AABK, Series 18805, File 21890779

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