Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: Hospital Transport Corps
Born: Menindie South Australia, 6 October 1873
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Prince Alfred College and University of Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Medical Practitioner
Died: Adelaide, South Australia, 20 December 1956, aged 83 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide Royal Adelaide Hospital WW1 Roll of Honour, Adelaide Treasurer and Chief Secretary Roll of Honour, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

17 Jul 1915: Involvement Major, Hospital Transport Corps, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '24' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Orsova embarkation_ship_number: A67 public_note: ''
17 Jul 1915: Embarked Major, Hospital Transport Corps, HMAT Orsova, Melbourne
Date unknown: Involvement Major, Army Medical Corps (AIF), --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '24' embarkation_place: '' embarkation_ship: HMAT Karoola embarkation_ship_number: A63 public_note: ''
Date unknown: Embarked Major, Army Medical Corps (AIF), HMAT Karoola

Help us honour Bronte Smeaton's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Annette Summers



Bronte Smeaton was born on the 6th October 1873 at Menindie, South Australia. He was the second son of an English engineer Thomas Drury Smeaton and his second wife Selena nee Witt. Thomas Smeaton was a manager of the Bank of South Australia. Smeaton was educated at Prince Alfred College and studied medicine at the University of Adelaide where he shared the Everard Scholarship with Henry Newland. He graduated in 1896 which coincided with the ‘Adelaide Hospital Row’ and therefore completed his residency in country hospitals at Port Augusta, and Wilgena South Australia. Smeaton went to London, and took up house appointments at The London Hospital, St Mark’s and St Peter’s Hospitals.  He returned to Australia in 1899 and went into general practice at Murray Bridge. He was appointed Medical Superintendent of the Adelaide Hospital in 1901 and remained there until 1904. He moved to Mount Barker until he was given a position on the staff of the Adelaide Hospital as an assistant surgeon in 1910 and moved to Tynte St, later Barton Terrace and finally to Palmer Place, North Adelaide. Smeaton married twice, Elizabeth Florence Moule in 16th June 1900 at the St Peters College but she died on the 10th October 1900. He married again to Josephine Lucy Cordelia Wigley on 18th May 1904 in Glenelg and they had four children; Patricia Constance, Joan Mary, Bronte Creagh and John Anthony.


Smeaton volunteered for the AIF and was commissioned as a major in 1915. He was 41 years old, 5ft 11ins, and weighed 12st 6lbs. He sailed from Sydney in June 1915 on the Orsova, and joined the Karoola in Alexandria. His appointment was to the 1 Hospital Ship. He served on the voyage from there to England and back to Australia in 1915, and on the ship’s next round trip to England. Smeaton was discharged in March 1916. Smeaton re-joined the AIF in June 1918, he was 44 years old and embarked for England in August.  He arrived in October and was posted to 3 AGH at Abbeville. In May 1919 he was briefly transferred to 1 ADH at Bulford, and then just before the cessation of hostilities he returned to Australia as his eldest son, Bronte Creagh, had been in an accident. His appointment terminated on the 30th July 1919. He was issued with the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal


Smeaton was President of the SA Branch of the BMA in 1921. After some years as an assistant surgeon, he was finally appointed an honorary surgeon at Adelaide Hospital in 1925 on Sir Arthur Cudmore’s retirement and at the Repatriation General Hospital, Keswick. He became a Foundation Fellow of the RACS even though he did not possess a senior surgical qualification; “he was a sound and practical surgeon”. He retired in 1933.  He was described as “a man of striking appearance who possessed a ready and trenchant wit.” In his professional life it is said that “he did not suffer fools gladly......... he did not suffer them at all” an “excellent raconteur” and “he knew how to handle troublesome neurotics with firmness and dignity without the slightest display of rudeness”. Bronte Smeaton died 20th December 1956 survived by his wife and two of his children. His son Dr Bronte Creagh Smeaton, radiologist and surgeon, predeceased him in 1950.


Blood, Sweat and Fears: Medical Practitioners and Medical Students of South Australia, who Served in World War 1. 

Verco, Summers, Swain, Jelly. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2014. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD