Informationen zu Geburt

West Eyreton, Canterbury, New Zealand

Allgemeine Informationen


Informationen zum Armeedienst

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Einberufung datum:
Einberufung ort:
Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand
 —  Canterbury Regiment, 3rd Bn.  (Letzte bekannte Einheit)

Informationen zu Tod

Hamburg, Passendale, Belgien
Im Kampf gefallen


Tyne Cot Cemetery
Grabstelle: XXVIII
Reihe: H
Grab: 2

Auszeichnungen und Orden 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Punkte von Interesse 3

#1 Geburtsort
#2 Einberufung ort
#3 Ort des Todes (ungefähr)

Meine Geschichte

Private George Smith served in the Canterbury 3rd Battalion, part of the 4th New Zealand Brigade, of the New Zealand Division.

The Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde on the 4th of October 1917. The New Zealand sector was a strip of country about a mile wide, running North-east, with the Wieltje-Gravenstafel road dividing it into two almost equal strips. Their final objective was a line running across the sector, just behind Berlin Wood, Waterloo Farm and Kronprinz Farm.

The New Zealand Division’s attack was carried by the 1st and 4th New Zealand Brigades. With the latter on the right of the Divisional Front, facing Berlin Wood. At 6 a.m., zero hour the artillery put down a creeping barrage, behind which the men had to advance. The first objective, the Red Line was to be captured by the 3rd Auckland on the right and the 3rd Otago on the left. This was a line which ran along the South-eastern slopes of the Gravenstafel spur. When the Red Line was captured the 3rd Canterbury on the right and the 3rd Wellington on the left would move through the two leading Battalions and advance to the second objective, Blue Line. The 3rd Canterbury’s objective was at Berlin Wood. In order to take their objective, the Battalion first had to capture Abraham Heights and then take the fortified Berlin Wood, with Dagger trench leading into it from the South-east. Meanwhile the 3rd Wellington, on the left, was to capture the hamlet of Gravenstafel and Berlin and Waterloo Farms.

The Germans were uneasy and put down a heavy barrage at 5 a.m. along the whole Divisional front, but it died down before the attack started. The Red Line was captured by the 3rd Auckland and the 3rd Otago and the 3rd Canterbury moved through the Auckland Battalion on the right. They immediately encountered opposition from German machine-gun parties in shell-holes, which they disposed of with extreme difficulty. When the Battalion reached the top of the Abraham Heights Spur, they came under heavy fire from the high ground to the North and North-east. Here the barrage halted for a whole hour, in order that the attacking parties could reorganise themselves and occupy and consolidate a line. However in reality this meant that the troops lost their only decent means of cover. Consequently the troops lying in the open suffered heavy casualties, due to the relentless machine-gun fire.

When the barrage restarted the troops advanced once more, meeting only slight resistance. But once the first line of the Battalion reached Berlin Wood they were enfiladed by machine-gun fire coming from two German pill-boxes, which held up the advance. Two platoons were detailed to outflank these positions, and eventually captured it together with a machine-gun and seventeen prisoners. By 9.10 a.m. the Battalion had captured the whole of its objective, and began consolidating its gains.

After capturing the Blue Line, the Battalion started digging a support trench, 350 yard short of the Brigade’s final objective on the Blue Dotted Line, which ran across the whole Brigade front. This arduous work was completed at dusk, despite suffering several casualties, due to German sniper- and machine-gun fire coming from Bellevue.

The Canterbury 3rd Battalion suffered a total of 258 casualties during the attack on the 4th of October 1917. Two officers were killed and eleven officers were wounded. Thirty-nine other ranks were killed, 199 were wounded and nine men went missing. Private George Smith was one of the men who were killed during the 3rd Canterbury’s attack on Berlin Wood. His remains were found due South of Hamburg, a German strongpoint in the 3rd Australian Division’s sector which had already been captured by the 39th Australian Battalion, of the 10th Australian Brigade on the 3rd Canterbury’s right. It’s possible Private George Smith was killed while outflanking the German positions in Berlin Wood. However he might have gotten mixed up by Australian troops in the chaos of Battle or he might have been killed while linking up with the Australian troops while digging the support trench. He was reburied later on at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Dateien 1

Quellen 6

"The History of the Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 1914-1919", Ferguson D., Wellington, Whitcombe & Tombs Limited, 1921, pg. 188-191.
Verwendete Quellen
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 99-101.
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Auckland Cenotaph
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The Long, Long Trail
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