Alfred Smith

First Name: 
Alfred
Last Name: 
Smith
Date of Birth: 
Saturday, September 10, 1892
Date Enlisted: 
Wednesday, November 1, 1916
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Unit: 
45th Battalion
Company: 
8th Reinforcements
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Friday, October 6, 1989
Details: 

Alfred Smith was born on September 10, 1892 in Hartley Valley NSW. His address at enlistment was Harbord St, Thirroul where he lived with his wife, Doris Irene Smith. He was a coal miner prior to the war.

Alfred enlisted in Kiama NSW on the 1st November, 1916 at the age of 24 and joined the 8th Reinforcements, 45th Battalion.

Alfred’s reminiscences from the front has been shared with Wollongong City Libraries – a typed transcript which contains a detailed account of Alfred’s service. It covers his departure, the voyage, training, the battle and his wounds, visiting his family in Cornwall on leave, his departure and voyage home.

One very interesting thing happened during this period. On 23rd April (1917) all the able men at the camp at Codford were marched to a place called Bulford. I don’t know the distance but it took us all day to get there. The purpose of the exercise was to be reviewed by the King. It was claimed there was 40,000 Australian troops the day of the review. We stayed there over-night and the next day we marched back to Codford. The interesting thing was that each way we travelled, we had our lunch at Stonehenge.

While fighting at the front line he received bullet wounds in his right shoulder, through the back of the neck, right shin and right elbow and was subsequently transferred to a rest camp in Weymouth. He stayed he until he set out on October 20, 1917 from Plymouth back to Australia.

On Alfred’s return to Australia Alfred wrote:

13th December, 1917.

We arrived at Sydney early this morning. The State Governor came on board and gave us a welcome home. When I went ashore I was met by my wife. I had to go to Victoria Barracks for certain formalities then we got a train to Thirroul where I was greeted by the Thirroul Brass Band (of which I was a member) and a large number of other people who then escorted me to my home on Mountain Road Austinmer. I was discharged from the Army on 17th January, 1918.

On his return, Alfred continued his work as a coal miner and later became a mine manager until his retirement.

He died at the age of 97 on October 6, 1989.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, SMITH A

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