Trevor OWEN-SMYTH

Poppy

OWEN-SMYTH, Trevor

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kensington, CIty of Burnside, South Australia, 4 April 1886
Home Town: Kensington, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College, Adelaide
Occupation: Station Manager
Died: Killed in Action, Gallipoli, Cannakale Province, Turkey, 16 May 1915, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Beach Cemetery - ANZAC Cove
Plot I, Row D, Grave No 10
Memorials: Adelaide Rowing Club Pictorial Honour Board Great War, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, National War Memorial (South Australia), North Road Cemetery - Memorials, Rose Park M To the Fallen - Burnside District*
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, Morphettville, South Australia
21 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
21 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Saldanha, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC Gallipoli
16 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC Gallipoli

LT TREVOR OWEN SMYTH.

From "Gallipoli, 1915"

Lieutenant Trevor Owen-Smythe, a transport officer with 10th Battalion Australian Infantry, was killed by shellfire on 16th May 1915. He is buried in Beach Cemetery.

“LIEUTENANT TREVOR OWEN SMYTH.

“The late Mr. Trevor Owen Smyth [sic] was a lieutenant in the 10th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Forces, and was 28 years of age. He was the elder of the two sons of Mr. C. E. Owen Smyth, I.S.O. (Superintendent of Public Buildings, Adelaide). After having been educated at St. Peter's College, he was for some time associated with the staff of the Bank of New South Wales in Adelaide, then proceeded as a cadet to the bank's Cuthroo sheep station, on the River Murray. Prior to that time he had received a commission in the 10th Adelaide Rifles, of which Colonel S. Price Weir, now commanding the 10th Battalion, was the adjutant. Lieutenant Owen Smyth had during the last few years preceding the war lived principally in the back country of Northern Queensland, where he was looking for sheep land. He had decided to take up a small property west of Rockhampton and had paid a deposit on it. The outbreak of the war, however, altered his plans, and he returned immediately to Adelaide to enrol in the 10th Battalion. He was a man of lovable disposition, of powerful physique, and a splendid horseman. He was noted for his skill with the rifle and revolver.” [1]

Pte. Percy John Cavanagh, 10th Battalion Australian Infantry, was one of two men given the job of burying Owen-Smythe. He was wounded while doing, a wound serious enough to merit his discharge, and he was interviewed about the experience after his return to Australia.

“Private Cavanagh, of the 10th Battalion, stated that he was suffering from a shrapnel wound in the shoulder, which he received after having been eight weeks in the trenches. He and another member of his company had been ordered to go to the beach to prepare a grave for the late Lieutenant Trevor Owen Smyth, and it was while engaged in that work that a shrapnel shell burst over him and struck him down. In relating how Lieutenant Owen Swyth met his death, Private Cavanagh said the late officer was a transport officer attached to the 10th. He should not have been on shore at all, but he was anxious to get on shore and see some of the fighting. One day, instead of reporting to his vessel, he went ashore to do so. The beach at that time was being shelled by a gun, which had been named “Beacho Billy.” The lieutenant was on the beach when the warning was given that “Beacho Billy” was tiring. He made an endeavor to reach shelter, but was too late, and the shell case struck him on the arm and practically severed it. He was quickly taken away, and an operation was performed, but he died under the anaesthetic.” [2]

[1] 'Chronicle' (Adelaide, South Australia), 12th June 1915.

[2] 'The Advertiser' (Adelaide, South Australia), 4th October 1915.

Read more...
Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography

Source:   Adelaide Rowing Club

Lieutenant (Lt) Trevor Owen-Smyth (mis-spelled Smythe on the nominal roll)  was a 28 year old station manager from Adelaide, South Australia when he enlisted on 19 August 1914.  Assigned to the 10th Battalion, he embarked for overseas from Adelaide on 21 October 1914 aboard HMAT Saldanha.

After further training in Egypt, the 10th Battalion was part of the covering force for the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and so was the first ashore at around 4:30 am.

The 10th Battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC position, and served there until the evacuation in December 1915. However, Lt Owen-Smythe was killed in action on 16 May 1915 and was buried at Beach Cemetery, at the southern end of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.

From the book Fallen Saints

Due to a lack of space, when the 10th Battalion embarked aboard the Ascanius in October 1914, the transport section, with their horses travelled aboard HMAT Saldanha. In 1915, after months of training together in Egypt, the battalion sailed for their secret destination aboard the Ionian. Disappointed they could not travel with the main body yet again Second Lieutenant Trevor Owen-Smyth and his transport sailed aboard the Nizam. After reaching Lemnos their level of disappointment would have undoubtedly increased when told they were not required for the initial landing on Gallipoli Peninsula.

On 25 April, the day of the landing, Trevor, still at Lemnos, received news of his promotion to lieutenant as well as orders to return to Alexandria in order to exchange the battalion’s horses for mules.

After returning to Lemnos with the mules, he gained permission to visit the Peninsula in order to arrange for the landing of his transport section. He finally got ashore, established a suitable location for the Transport section, and was returning to the beach for re-embarkation on the morning 16 May but was killed when the Turks heavily shelled the beach.  

Trevor Owen-Smyth  was born at Kensington, South Australia in 1886. During the eight years he spent at the School he was a keen student, good sportsman and served two years in the cadets. After leaving the School, he was on the staff of the Bank of New South Wales in Adelaide, and then a cadet to the bank's Cuthero sheep station on the River Murray and subsequently on Frome Downs Station, South Australia.  

Trevor had earlier joined the militia and in September 1905 along with Gordon Townshend Wallack (OS) was appointed a provisional second lieutenant in the 10th Australian Infantry Regiment; in 1906, the adjutant Captain Stanley Price Weir informed them their commissions had been confirmed.

A year or so before the war he worked in the back country of north Queensland where he paid the deposit on a small sheep station west of Rockhampton.

When war was declared, Trevor enlisted as a private soldier however as he already held a commission, and was known to be a splendid horseman he was soon after posted to 10th battalion as Transport Officer.  

Twenty eight year old Lieutenant Trevor Owen - Smyth was killed in action on 16 May 1915.

An eyewitness later stated he was buried above the beach that night, and Major John Corbin (Old Scholar) placed a wooden cross in the ground to mark his grave; he ‘was a fearless officer and most considerate to the men under him.’ [i]

When the sad news of his death reached Lemnos one of his men, Driver Phillip Young wrote home, ‘... Lieutenant Owen-Smyth was one of the gamest and best. ...’ [ii]

Trevor’s father received personal messages of sympathy from the King and Queen as well as from the Governor General Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson and Lady Helen Munro Ferguson.



[i] St  Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide, August 1915, p. 62-63
[ii] Lock, C B L, The Fighting 10th - A South Australian Centenary Souvenir of the 10th Battalion, AIF 1914-19, Webb & Son, Adelaide, 1936, p. 236-237

Read more...