SMITH, Francis and Archie

Francis and Archie were the sons of Francis and Susan Smith of Copeton near Inverell. Their births were registered at Inverell in 1892 and 1894 respectively. The family lived in the Graman district where their father ran the mail coach. After the family moved to Copeton the two brothers attended Copeton Public School.

Francis and Archie enlisted together in August 1916 and were among eleven men publically farewelled at Inverell Town Hall and presented with the Inverell medal. The Armidale Chronicle newspaper, 12 August 1916 reported that …’The Inverell men made the journey across by cars and were very enthusiastic. They entered town waving flags and singing patriotic songs.’

The brothers became members of the 33rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement which left Australia on the ship SS Port Napier in November and arrived in England In January 1917. Three months later they were sent to France.

Francis was Killed in Action on 8 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines. He has no known grave and his name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, Belgium.  Archie was wounded during the same Battle, however he recovered and returned to his unit after two weeks. During March 1918 he became ill with influenza. The following month he was wounded in Action and died on 7 April as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.  Archie was buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, France. 

Privates Francis and Archie Smith have their names inscribed on the Inverell Cenotaph and Honor Roll, the Graman Honor Roll and the Copeton Roll of Honor.  In 1919 they were among the men for whom memorial trees were planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell.