Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Digger Smith at Gallipoli

'E run 'is final up at Suvla Bay --
   One uv the Aussies I was proud to know.

Ernest Smith served in the 7th Infantry Battalion’s A Company. He was an atypical recruit in a number of ways. He was 45 years old, more than twice the age of many of those first recruits. He was a married man with two children, one of whom was almost old enough to serve in the AIF himself (and did so, several years later). He had already had considerable military training, having served eight and a half years in the Artillery and ten years in the 6th AIR (6th Battalion Australian Infantry Regiment).

 His military experience was not enough to save him, however, and 177 Sergeant Ernest Albert Smith was killed at the landing at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915, the day we now observe as Anzac Day.


25 April 1915. Australians, probably of 6th and 7th Battalions, 2nd Infantry Brigade, leaving the transport Galeka in ships’ boats for landing at Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli Peninsula. Ernest Smith was almost certainly on board.
Image P01287.008, courtesy AWM.

Ernest Smith has no known grave but is remembered at the Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial at Anzac Cove. The cemetery contains over a thousand burials and the memorial commemorates over four thousand missing Australians who served on the peninsula between 25 April and 20 December 1915 and the seven hundred New Zealanders who died before the August offensive.

Lone Pine memorial.

Image courtesy AWM, A03584.

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