SMITH Harold

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Enlistment Address

Wongarbon NSW

Service Number

1668

Unit

45th Battalion

Fate

KIA 7.6.1917 Messines

Information

Private Harold Gordon Smith 1688 was a 22 year old labourer from Wongarbon when he enlisted at Tooraweenah on January 12, 1916 with the Tooraweenah Kookaburra’s and marched to Bathurst, gathering recruits along the way. The medical examination described him as 5’3” tall, 31-34” chest expansion, fair complexion, fair hair, blue eyes and no distinctive marks. He was Church of England and his father, Albert Edward Smith was his next of kin. He stated he had had no previous service.

After training at Bathurst he embarked on the HMAT Ceramic on April 14, 1916 with the 45th Battalion. After further training in Egypt he embarked from Alexandria on the HT Francona arriving in Plymouth on June 16, 1916. Soon after arrival, Harold was admitted to hospital for a week with influenza and bronchitis and rejoined his unit on July28, 1916. In September 1916, they went to France to join the unit while they were resting behind the lines near Ypres. Within days the 45th Battalion moved south back to the Somme where they were to endure a harsh cold winter. Harold suffered Shell Shock while in the front lines and was sent to hospital in Rouen. He rejoined the unit on January 5, 1917. Harold experienced the horror of the Battle of Bullecourt and was killed on the first day of the Battle of Messines on June 7, 1917. His service record states he was buried but he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Panel 27, the Australian War Memorial Panel 140 and the Wongarbon School Memorial.

Harold’s father received the Memorial Plaque and the Memorial Scroll, his British War Medal and the Victory Medal.