James Robert Smith

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Hammersmith, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom

General information

last known residence:
Forrest, Victoria, Australia
Roman Catholic

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 22nd Bn. (Victoria)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Brick Kiln & Yard, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

James Robert Smith, a former sawyer, was born in February 1895 in Hammersmith, London, England. He was the son of Josephine Smith. He moved to Australia at the age of 18. On October 7, 1916 he enlisted in Geelong, Victoria and embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A20 Hororata on November 23, 1916, with the 18th reinforcement of the 22nd Battalion, part of the 6th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division.

The 2nd Australian Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde (October 4, 1917), a phase in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 22nd Battalion was part of the 6th Brigade, which attacked on the right of the divisional front. On October 2 and 3, the 22nd Battalion relieved the 23rd Battalion at the front line in Zonnebeke. During the afternoon of October 2, the Battalion suffered heavy casualties through enemy shell fire.

James Robert, aged 22, was killed in action on October 2, 1917, after he was hit by pieces from a shell. Private Smith was buried where he fell, near Brick Kiln and Road (28.D.27.b.80.50). His remains were not recovered or identified after the war. James Robert Smith has no known grave and is remembered on panel 23D of the Menin Gate Memorial.

Sources 5

22nd Battalion Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/39/26).
Sources used
6th Brigade Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/6/26).
Sources used
Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), RCDIG1064166).
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
Sources used
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
Sources used

More information 4