The AIF Project

Charles Herbert Balfour SMITH

Regimental number1754
Place of birthNew Southgate, Middlesex, England
Place of birthKent, England
SchoolChrist Church School, Ramsgate, England
Age on arrival in Australia18
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarmer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 6"
Weight117 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Balfour Smith, 8 Delmere Villa, Ramsgate, Kent, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date7 July 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 20 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 10 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
179
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Maarinne SMITH, 44 Dumpton Park Road, Ramsgate, England. Native of New Southgate, London, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 25th Bn, Gallipoli, 8 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 9 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 14 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 19 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 5 August 1916 (gun shot wound, thigh); admitted to 26th General Hospital, 6 August 1916; transferred to England, 25 August 1916, and admitted to N. Evington Military Hospital, 26 August 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 11 December 1916; rejoined unit, 23 December 1916.

Taken on strength, 7th Machine Gun Company, 11 February 1917.

On leave to England, 23 September 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 5 October 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 10 October 1917.

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

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