Robert, known as ‘Bob’, was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Smith of Tingha NSW. His birth was registered at Bundarra in 1895. He was educated at the Tingha Public School before becoming a Miner. With his parents permission, he enlisted at Armidale in January 1916 and became a member of the 33rd Battalion, D Company. The Battalion left Australia in May on board HMAT A74 Marathon, arriving in England on 9 July 1916.
Further training took place at Salisbury Plain until Robert was sent to France in November as part of the 3rd Division, 9th Brigade. Private Robert Smith was reported wounded and missing on 12 October 1917 during the Battle of Passchendale. Months later it was finally confirmed that he had been killed in action on that date.
Robert has no known grave and his name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, Belgium. His few remaining personal possessions consisting of wallet, cards, note book and testament were returned to his Father. A Memorial Service was held for him at the Anglican Church, Tingha, in June 1918. His name is recorded on the Tingha War Memorial.
Photo: Australian War Memorial Image PO9794.001