Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Digger Smith survives the war


I've 'eard the cheers for ev'ry fightin' lad




34168 Driver Samuel George Smith served with the 6th Battery of the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade. He enlisted in December 1916, embarked on the HMAT Ascanius in May 1917, arrived on the Western Front in November 1917 and returned to Australia in June 1919. Unlike so many others, he wasn’t injured and was never sick. In fact, his service record is virtually empty of detail, yet we know that he was in Belgium and France for well over twelve months. Unusual indeed.


Morialme, Belgium. 24 December 1918. Group portrait of the 6th Battery of the 2nd Australian Field Artillery Brigade. 34168 Dvr S. G. Smith is in the photo.
Image courtesy AWM. Image E03973.


An outdoors group portrait of unidentified members of the 6th Battery of the 2nd Australian Field Artillery Brigade in a snow covered field. Most of the soldiers are wearing heavy coats and many are coated with snow. Taken in Belgium on Australia Day 1919.
Image courtesy AWM. Image E04232.


Samuel Smith was a 36 year old married labourer when he enlisted. His parents had married in Tamworth, New South Wales in 1879 and he and his siblings were all born in New South Wales. By 1913 he had made his way to Victoria where he married Mary Ann Cuthbert and settled in Coburg where they lived until the mid-1920s. By the 1930s they were living in Oakleigh. Samuel died at Caulfield in 1967 aged 86. His wife died the following year.



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