Alphonse Smale

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Smeaton, Victoria, Australia

General information

Last known residence:
Marnoo, Victoria, Australia

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Machine Gun Corps, 4th Coy.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Marne, Passchendaele, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Dochy Farm New British Cemetery
Plot: VII
Row: D
Grave: 23

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Alphonse Smale, a former farmer, was born on 1895 in Smeaton, Victoria, Australia. On 15 August 1916 he enlisted at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Alphonse served as a Private in the 4th Coy. Australian Machine Gun Corps, part of the 4th Australian Brigade, of the 4th Australian Division.

On the 12th of October 1917 the 4th Australian Division took part in the First Battle of Passchendaele. The 12th Brigade launched an attack along the south side of the Ypers-Roulers railway and were able to capture Assyria. However, as the 3rd Australian Division on the other side of the railway was withdrawn, their positions also had to be abandoned. The 4th Australian Division took up position on a line running south form Defy Crossing.

On October 14th the 4th Brigade relieved the 12th Brigade. The 4th Australian Machine Gun Company moved up the line at 1:30 a.m. Section 1 and 2 took up barrage duty and section 4 moved to the support line (section 3 remained in reserve). The guns on the support line took up positions from the crossroads near Nieuwemolen to Defy Crossing. During the following days the support line was often shelled while the machine gun company worked on consolidating the line. The company would hold the front line until the 23 October 1917.

Alphonse Smale, aged 22, was killed in action on October 17, 1917. Private Smale was initially buried near Marne, Zonnebeke at 28.D.17.c. His remains were exhumed and interred at Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, plot VII, row D, grave 23.

Sources 4

4th Australian Machine Gun Company (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 24/9/17).
Sources used
4th Infantry Brigade (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/4/25).
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 3