Malcolm St Aiden Teesdale (Mickie) SMITH

SMITH, Malcolm St Aiden Teesdale

Service Number: 286
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Devenport, Tasmania, Australia, 31 May 1890
Home Town: Crafers, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Guildford Grammar School, Western Australia, St Peter's College, South Australia and Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Killed In Action, Gallipoli, 27 April 1915, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Aldgate War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 286, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 286, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Ascanius embarkation_ship_number: A11 public_note: ''

20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 286, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 286, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
27 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 286, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli

More about Malcolm

Malcolm Teesdale Smith of Crafers, South Australia, was born at Devonport, Tasmania in 1890 but left Tasmania when he was three years old. Malcolm’s father, a railway contractor, moved the family to Western Australia in 1893 where he would oversee the construction of the Picton to Busselton railway line.
Malcolm attended Guildford Grammar School in Western Australia until his family moved to South Australia where he attended the Collegiate School of St Peter in Adelaide as a resident pupil. He entered Melbourne University for a time and while there served in the Melbourne University Rifles. He relinquished his studies to join the construction staff of the Port Hedland - Marble Bar Railway, Western Australia and on completion of that line transferred to the West Coast where he became assistant engineer of works.
On 19 August 1914, Malcolm enlisted at Morphettville and was posted to G Company 10th Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Felix Giles (OS); the platoon commanders were 2nd Lieutenants Noel Loutit and William Perry.
In late September, Private Teesdale Smith was posted to A Company and sailed with the main body aboard HMAT Ascanius the following month.
After Philip Robin’s wedding at Mena Camp, Malcolm overstayed his leave and for this misdemeanour was awarded seven days confinement to barracks. After enduring the monotonous seven-day CB routine of early mornings, late nights, square bashing, kit, dress and weapon inspections, ‘Mickey’ Smith, never overstayed another leave.
On 25 April 1915, shortly after scrambling out of the boat, he was attempting to rescue a fallen mate when he was wounded then in a second act of bravery a little later, while trying to drag a second stricken man to cover he was shot in the neck.
Twenty five year old Private Teesdale Smith died of wounds on 27 April 1915 and was buried in the Valley of Death. (Shrapnel Gully)
For ‘conspicuous and able leadership’ in action, Malcolm’s younger brother, 528 Corporal Paul Teesdale Smith (OS), 9th Light Horse Regiment, received the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1916; he rose through the ranks to lieutenant and returned to Australia after the war.

Showing 1 of 1 story


Malcom was one of the "Flowers of the Forest" - the group of nine young men who belonged to the 10th Battalion Scouts, photographed together prior to the landing at ANZAC.  

Born in Tasmania in May 1890, Malcolm was 24 years old on enlistment.  Educated in Melbourne and Adelaide, Malcolm had been a member of the Melbourne University Rifle Club, an option under the Universal Training System.  He had relinquished his studies, presumably relocating back to Adelaide.

He enlisted at Morphettville on 19th August 1914, his enlistment papers being signed by Major Miles F Beevor, later to command the Battalion at Gallipoli during the evacuation.  He went into training with his colleagues and eventually found his way to A Company and the Battalion Scouts.  Embarking on the 10th October 1914 to join the great ANZAC convoy they disembarked in Egypt and spent some time as accidental tourists training near Mena and forming part of the defence of the Suez Canal before rembarking for their date with destiny at Gallipoli.

The Scouts were to be first ashore and were tasked with reaching Third or Gun Ridge.  Of the group of nine men , four died at ANZAC. Four more were commissioned as officers; one of was killed in France, one was awarded the Military Cross as an aviator and the other won a Victoria Cross. The last of that four served throughout most of the War as an officer, after Gallipoli,  in the Royal Artillery having transferred while in England recuperating from wounds sustained at ANZAC.  The last tragically died at  his own hand after the War.  There can be few more poignant images of young men about to head into the abyss of war.

Malcolm landed with the other Scouts among the very first boats to ground on the pebbles of ANZAC Cove at about 4.30am.  His mate Tom Whyte didn't even make it out of the boat, shot through the pelvis as he rowed his colleagues ashore.  He died aboard ship and was buried at sea.  Francis Stokes didn't last much longer according to some accounts.

"Francis Stokes was hit trying to drag a wounded man to shelter on the beach.  He died in the opening minutes of the battle". (Faulkner, Andrew  "Arthur Blackburn VC" p59)

Alternatively, family anecdote has that : "According to a letter from Arthur Blackburn, of which I have a copy, he was killed by shrapnel a few yards from the (later) Brig and not that he mentions on the beach.I also have his photo"  Chris Stokes 2014.

Both of these accounts are at odds with the 'official record' which records his death as 27th April.  However the chaos of the landing (often called somewhat euphemistically the "fog of war") obscured the precise details of many a soldier's death in those early days.

Malcolm Teesedale Smith was the next to go.  "Mickie to his mates, scaled the first two ridges - the second at Blackburn's side  - with blood oozing from a bullet hole in his neck.  He had been shot while going to the aid of a wounded comrade on the beach.  Later in the day, he was killed when he broke cover to help another wounded man." (Faulkner p59)

Phil Robin was the last of the group to die at Gallipoli some three days later, in as yet undiscovered circumstances, having earlier according to Charles Bean, gained the most ground of any Australians that day or subsequently, at ANZAC.  He and Arthur Blackburn are credited by Bean of having made it to Third or Gun Ridge before falling back in the face of Turkish reinforcements.  Some other men who had reached well forward were cut off and died where they stood.  Their skeletal remains and fired cartridge cases bore mute testimony to their forlorn hope when Bean revisited the Peninsula after the Armistice.

The names of the four who perished at Gallipoli are all engraved on the Lone Pine Memorial, Malcolm Teesdale Smith among them.

The Flowers of the Forest;

Arthur BLACKBURN (/explore/people/930)

Guy FISHER (/explore/people/373586)

John GORDON (/explore/people/198723)

Wilfid JOSE (/explore/people/173634)

Eric MELDRUM (/explore/people/55797)

Philip ROBIN (/explore/people/9135)

Francis STOKES (/explore/people/60171)

Malcolm TEASEDALE-SMITH (/explore/people/190689)

Thomas WHYTE (/explore/people/170704)




1914/15 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Commemorative Plaque


Steve Larkins January 2015