John Thomas SMITH

John Thomas SMITH

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4891), John Thomas Smith was born at Wigan, Lancashire, England. He gave his age as 30 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as miner. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 10 stone 7 lbs., with a fair complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He completed his medical on the 16th October 1915 at Wellington, where he joined the Coo-ee March, and was attested by Captain Nicholas on the 19th October 1915 at Stuart Town. He claimed to have had no previous military service.

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Queen Street, Wellington, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as friend, L. A. Walters, Anhitn, 6 Fernbank Street, Marrickville, Sydney, N.S.W.

Private Smith departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England on the 8th of March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On the 25th April 1916 he was transferred from the 4th Training Battalion at Tel-el Kibir to the 4th Pioneer Battalion, where he was then taken on strength at Serapeum on the 29th April 1916.

On the 4th June 1916 Private Smith left Alexandria aboard the Transport Scotian bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 11th June 1916.

Private Smith was one of four soldiers in his unit wounded in action on 10th January 1917, receiving a high explosive wound to his stomach, whilst the 4th Pioneer Battalion was undertaking work on the railway line near the village of Longueval, France. He was transferred to the 25th Ambulance Train on 11th January 1917 and admitted to the 12th General Hospital at Rouen on 12th January 1917 with a gun shot wound to the abdomen wall. He was transferred to the Convalescent Depot at Rouen on 24th January 1917, then to Base Depot “A” on 30th January 1917. He was transferred from the 4th Australian Division Base Depot back to his unit on 15th February 1917, rejoining from wounded on 17th January 1917.

He reported to hospital sick from the field on 29th June 1917, and was admitted to 39th General Hospital at Havre on 3rd July 1917. He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot from hospital on 23rd July 1917. He then was readmitted to 39th General Hospital on 3rd August 1917, then on 31st August 1917 he was discharged, and returned to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot. On 7th September he marched out of the 4th Australian Division Base Depot, then returned to his unit in the field on 10th September 1917.

On the 25th October 1917 he was admitted to the 12th Canadian Field Ambulance with an accidentally dislocated right shoulder, then was transferred on the 26th October 1917 to the 13th Canadian Field Ambulance. On the 27th October he was transferred to 36th Ambulance Train, then admitted to 6th Convalescent Depot on 31st October 1917. He was discharged from the hospital at Etaples on the 8th November 1917, then marched in to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Havre on 10th November 1917. He returned to his unit in the field on 14th November 1917.

On 22nd February 1918 he reported to 13th Australian Field Ambulance sick, and was admitted to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance with Scabies. He returned to his unit on 28th February 1918.

Private Smith’s service record reports he was ‘wounded in action’ on the 5th April 1918, and was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance. According to the 4th Pioneer Battalion’s war diary, on 5th April 1918 the battalion was in camp near Henencourt Wood when it was shelled by German artillery. Private J. T. Smith is listed in the Casualties list as wounded by ‘H. E. Shell’. He was admitted to 22nd General Hospital at Camiers with a gun shot wound dislocated right shoulder on 6th April 1918. He was transferred to a hospital ship on 8th April 1918 and embarked for England, being admitted to Dorset County Hospital at Dorchester on 9th April 1918.

Private Smith died of his wounds on 23rd April, 1918, of gun shot wound dislocation of right shoulder (haemoptysis), at Dorset County Hospital, Dorset, England.

John Thomas Smith’s headstone at Melcombe Regis Cemetery, Weymouth, England (Photograph: H. Thompson 25/8/2014)

John Thomas Smith’s headstone at Melcombe Regis Cemetery, Weymouth, England (Photograph: H. Thompson 25/8/2014)

Private Smith was buried with full military honours on the 27th April, 1918 at Melcombe Regis Cemetery, Weymouth, Dorset, England.

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