The AIF Project

Arthur SMITH

Regimental number3616
Place of birthMarrickville, New South Wales
SchoolMarrickville Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressRippevale, Wemyss Street, Marrickville, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 4.5"
Weight133 lbs
Next of kinFather, W Smith, Rippevale, Wemyss Street, Marrickville, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date6 September 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll53rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 October 1917
Place of death or woundingMenin Road, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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 Elizabeth SMITH, Wemyss Street, Marrickville, Sydney. Native of Marrickville, Sydney
Other details

War service: taken on strength, 53rd Bn, Ismailia, 3 April 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 28 June 1916.

On Command at Divisional Gas School, 4 August 1916; rejoined Bn, 9 August 1916. Promoted Temporary Corporal, 4 September 1916; Corporal, 20 October 1916; Sergeant, 20 October 1916.

Admitted to 15th Field Ambulance, 21 December 1916 (trench feet and septic heel); transferred to 36th Casualty Clearing Station, 21 December 1916; to 4th General Hospital, Camiers, 23 December 1916; to England on board Hospital Ship 'Warilda', 28 December 1916, and admitted to Guildford War Hospital, 29 December 1916. Transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 13 February 1917. Discharged on furlough, 5 March 1917, to report to Training Depot, Wareham, 20 March 1917. Marched out to No. 6 Camp, Perham Downs, 20 April 1917. Qualified as instructor at Physical Training and Bayonet Fighting School, 25 May 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 19 September 1917; rejoined 53rd Bn, 2 October 1917.

Killed in action, 2t October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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