The AIF Project

Harold Maxwell SMITH

Regimental number3268
Place of birthOakleigh, Victoria
SchoolSunny Hills State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressVincent Street, Surrey Hills, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 5.5"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinFather, Charles A Smith, Vincent Street, Surrey Hills, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the 48th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces, Kooyong.
Enlistment date23 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A73 Commonwealth on 26 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death20.10
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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: Charles and Helen SMITH, 'Cloverdale', Lancefield, Victoria. Native of Oakleigh, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 502 Harold Pascoe SMITH [name does not appear on Nominal Roll]; [819] Lt Kenneth Ansell SMITH, 8th Bn, returned to Australia, 23 October 1918.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 8th Bn, Serapeum, 24 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 26 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 31 March 1916.

Sick to hospital, 23 April 1916; admitted to 7th Casualty Clearing Station, 29 April 1916 (catarrh); transferred to Australian Hospital, 1 May 1916 (bronchitis); to England, 10 June 1916, and admitted to 1st Eastern General Hospital; to Australian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom, 7 July 1916; proceeded on furlough, 14 September 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 11 December 1916; rejoined unit, 23 January 1917.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 7 May 1917 (pyrexia, unknown origin); transferred to 5th Division Rest Station, 11 May 1917; discharged to duty, 24 May 1917; rejoined unit, 25 May 1917.

Reported wounded and missing in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917; Court of Enquiry subsequently determined fate as killed in action.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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