William SMITH (4602 Gilgandra)

William SMITH (4602 Gilgandra)

Per his initial military service record (Depot), William Smith was born at Gilgandra, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 19 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of medical examination was height 5 feet 8 inches tall, weight 11 stone, with a dark complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair.  His religious denomination was Presbyterian.  William Smith completed his medical examination at Gilgandra on 11th October 1915 (the day after the Coo-ees had left Gilgandra), but was not attested by Captain Nicholas until when the Coo-ees were at Stuart Town on 20th October 1915.  He claimed to have previous military experience in the Gilgandra Rifle Club.

It is unclear exactly where William Smith caught up with the Coo-ees, but his initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form dated 11th October 1915 was addressed to the Recruiting Officer at Eumungerie, so it appears his intent was to catch up with the Coo-ees at Eumungerie.  His parents Thomas E. Smith and Margaret E. Smith both signed this form to give their consent, as he was under 21 years of age.   His “Joined on” date on his Attestation Paper was 19th October 1915 (when the Coo-ees were marching from Dripstone to Stuart Town).

He was known as one of Gilgandra’s 35 recruits.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp for training.

Private Smith was examined by a Medical Board at Liverpool Camp, and was discharged as medically unfit on 29th November 1915.

On 1st November 1916 William Smith re-enlisted at Dubbo, and was appointed to Dubbo Depot Battalion.  This Attestation Paper listed his occupation as grocer, and his age as 21 years.  He claimed that he had previous military in the A.I.F., and that he had been discharged due to sickness.

On 9th November 1916 he was transferred to the reinforcements for the 30th Battalion at Liverpool Camp.

On Private Smith’s embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Newtown, Gilgandra, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs Emma Smith, at the same address.

Private Smith departed Sydney on the HMAT Beltana A72 on 25th November 1916 with the 12th reinforcements for the 30th Battalion.

He arrived at Devonport, England, on 29th January1917, and marched into the 8th Training Battalion at Hurdcott, England.

On 31st January 1917 Private Smith was sent to the Camp 10 Hospital at Hurdcott sick.  On 1st February 1917 he was transferred to the Fovant Military Hospital with Mumps.  He was discharged on 15th February 1917 and sent back to the 8th Training Battalion.

Five months later, on 14th July 1917 Private Smith was again admitted to the Camp 10 hospital sick.  He was discharged and returned to the 8th Training Battalion on the 23rd of July 1917.

On 29th August 1917 Private Smith was charged with being absent without leave from midnight on 28th August 1917 until brought back to camp under escort on 11th September 1917.  He was awarded 14 days detention, and forfeited 33 days pay.  He entered Woking Detention Barracks to serve his sentence on 21st September 1917.

On 5th November 1917 Private Smith marched in to the 14th Training Battalion at Codford, England, from the 8th Training Battalion.

On 29th November 1917 Private Smith was charged again with being absent without leave from midnight on 18th November 1917 to 8.15 pm on 24th November 1917.  He was awarded 14 days field punishment No. 2, and forfeited 20 days pay.

On 4th of December 1917 Private Smith proceeded overseas from Southampton to France to reinforce the 56th Battalion.

Upon arrival in France he was sent to the 5th Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

On 8th December 1917 he was sent to march out to his unit.

On 11th December 1917, Private Smith was charged with when on active service absenting himself from entrainment on 9th December 1917.  He was awarded 28 days field punishment No. 2 on 11th December 1917.

Private Smith was taken on strength of the 56th Battalion on 13th December 1917, when it was moving from Kemmel, Belgium to Desvres, France.

On 15th January 1918 the 56th Battalion was conducting training at Tingry, France, when Private Smith was sent to the 5th Australian Field Ambulance sick.  He was admitted to a General Hospital in Etaples on 17th January 1918.  On 26th January 1918 he was discharged from hospital to the Australian Infantry Base Depot. .

He marched out to his unit from the Australian Infantry Base Depot at Le Harve on 3rd February 1918.  He rejoined the 56th Battalion on the 17th of February 1918 when it was in the vicinity of Hollebeke, Belgium.

On 20th February 1918 Private Smith was detached for duty with the 14th Field Company Engineers.

A week later, on 27th February 1918 he was sent to the 14th Australian Field Ambulance with Defective Vision.  He was discharged on the 1st of March 1918, and rejoined the Battalion when it was in reserve at Wytschaete, Belgium.

Three weeks later, on 21st March 1918 Private Smith was sent to the 15th Australian Field Ambulance sick with Bronchitis.  He was moved to the 5th Division Rest Station later that day.  On the 22nd of March 1918 he was moved to the 13th Casualty Clearing Station.

On 2nd April 1918 Private Smith was taken by ambulance train and admitted sick to the 55th General Hospital at Boulogne, France.  On 9th April 1918 he was admitted to No. 7 Convalescent Depot at Boulogne.  He was moved to No. 10 Convalescent Depot at Ecault, France, on 11th April 1918.

He was discharged on 25th April 1918, and sent to the  Australian Infantry Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

On 24th May 1918 he marched out to his unit.

On 1st June 1918 Private Smith was charged with drunkenness on 31st May 1918.  He was fined 10 shillings.

On 2nd June 1918 Private Smith rejoined the 56th Battalion when it was conducting training at Bussy Les Daours, France.

On 27th June 1918 Private Smith was charged with being absent from 8.45 am parade without permission.   He was awarded 2 days field punishment No. 2 on 28th June 1918.

On 21st December 1918 the 56th Battalion had just marched to Sivry in Belgium the day before to set up camp for the winter, when Private Smith was sent to the 56th Casualty Clearing Station sick.  On the 23rd of December 1918 he was admitted to the 7th General Hospital sick at Wimereux, France.  On the 24th of December 1918 he was transferred to the 39th General Hospital at Le Harve, France.

Private Smith was transferred to England on the H.T. St. Patrick on 15th January 1919.  On 16th January 1919 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, England.

He was discharged on the 7th of March 1919 and transferred to the Convalescent Training Depot at Parkhouse, England.

On 11th March 1919 Private Smith was re-admitted sick to the 1st Australian Determatological Hospital at Bulford, England.

On 11th April 1919 Private Smith was charged with being out of bounds and being in possession of a Khaki uniform whilst a patient at the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital.  He was awarded 27 days detention and fined 27 days pay.

On 12th April 1919 Private Smith was admitted to the Lewes Detention Barracks to undergo his sentence.

He was released on 7th May 1919, and returned to the 1st Australian Determatological Hospital.

On 10th May 1919 Private Smith was transferred to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Sutton Veny, England.

He was discharged on 2nd June 1919, and transferred to the Number 5 Group at Weymouth, England.

Private Smith commenced his return to Australia aboard the H.M.A.T. Friedrichsruh on 8th July 1919.

He arrived in Australia on 4th September 1919, and was discharged at Sydney on 12th October 1919.

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