The AIF Project

Claude Huon SMITH

Regimental number952
Place of birthHuonville, Tasmania
SchoolSouthbridge State School, Tasmania
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFarmer
AddressGreen Hill, Colebrook, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 4.75"
Weight133 lbs
Next of kinFather, W.E. Smith, Green Hill, Colebrook, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil (Previously tried to enlist in the Light Horse, Sydney: failed riding test.)
Enlistment date12 May 1915
Place of enlistmentRichmond, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name26th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/43/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 29 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll26th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 August 1917
Date of death20 September 1917
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
109
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
NOTE DATE OF DEATH. Parents: William and Letitia SMITH, Bellerive, Tasmania. Native of Huonville, Tasmania
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 4584 Corporal Frank Ernest SMITH, 4th Division Headquarters, returned to Australia, 3 May 1919; 4585 Pte Ivan Lance SMITH MM, 51st Bn, returned to Australia, 10 Aoril 1919; 4601 Pte Keith Lawrence SMITH, 52nd Bn, died of wounds, 17 August 1916.~
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 4 September 1915. Admitted to 7th Field Ambulance, 21 September 1915 (chronic diarrhoea); transferred to hospital, Malta, 27 September 1915; to England, 9 October 1915, and admitted to Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, 18 October 1915. Returned to Egypt, and disembarked Alexandria, 5 March 1916; rejoined unit, Moascar, 9 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British expeditionary Force, 15 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 21 March 1916.

Found guilty, 7 April 1916, of being absent from Tattoo, Morbicque, 6 April 1916: awarded 20 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Appointed Temporary Corporal, 22 November 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 23 November 1916 (influenza); discharged to duty, 28 November 1916; rejoined unit, 29 November 1916.

Appointed Corporal, 27 December 1916.

Wounded in action, 26 March 1917 (gun shot wound, legs), and admitted to 5th Australian field Ambulance; transferred same day to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station; by Ambulance train, 29 March 1917, and admitted to 5th General Hospital, Rouen, 30 March 1917. transferred to England, 17 April 1917, and admitted to Royal Victorian Hospital, Netley, 17 April 1917; transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 5 June 1917; discharged on furlough, 8 June 1917; marched in to No 1 Convalescent Depot, Perham Downs, 23 June 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 8 August 1917; rejoined unit, 27 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

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

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