Alfred was the son of Alfred and Ester Smith of Warialda NSW. He was a twenty nine year old Labourer at Warialda when he enlisted there in January 1916. With twelve other volunteers from Warialda he joined the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs on their journey to the Narrabri and Armidale Camps.
He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, Headquarters. They trained at Armidale and Rutherford before sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After nine weeks at sea the Battalion arrived in England where further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain. Alfred became ill with bronchitis and did not go to France until February 1917.
He and another soldier were killed instantly on 20 July 1917 when a shell burst near them. His Commanding Officer, Lieut Colonel Morshead wrote to Alfred’s parents saying ‘… He was reliable, hardworking, courageous, determined, honourable. We all mourn the loss of such a splendid comrade …’
Private Alfred Smith was buried at Bethlehem Farm West Cemetery, Messines, Belgium. His few personal effects were returned to his mother and included a wallet, letters, money belt, thimble and stamps.
Photo: Private collection