Edward David (Ted) SMOUT OAM

SMOUT, Edward David

Service Numbers: 12947, Q201077
Enlisted: 10 September 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 2nd (Qld) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps
Born: Brisbane, Queensland, 5 January 1898
Home Town: Rockhampton, Rockhampton, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Natural causes, Brisbane, Queensland, 22 June 2004, aged 106 years
Cemetery: Redcliffe Cemetery
Ted buried with his wife Ella Annie Gracie Smout - Grave Location: Lawn-Section 105/Row FF/Plot 60.
Memorials: Ted Smout Memorial Bridge
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World War 1 Service

10 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 12947, Brisbane, Queensland
19 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 12947, 3rd Sanitary Section, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '23' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Demosthenes embarkation_ship_number: A64 public_note: ''
11 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 12947, 3rd Sanitary Section, German Spring Offensive 1918
24 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 12947, Army Pay Corps (AIF)

World War 2 Service

6 May 1942: Enlisted Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN Q201077, Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC), Brisbane, Queensland
7 May 1942: Involvement Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Lieutenant, SN Q201077, 2nd (Qld) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps, Homeland Defence - Militia and non deployed forces

Ted Smout - one of Four Centurions

I had the honour of meeting Ted and his three colleagues, Howard Pope, Eric Abraham and Charles Mance when they accompanied an Honour Guard drawn from the 10th /27th Battalion The Royal South Australia regiment, of which I was the Officer Commanding, for a series of ceremonies 4-6 July 1998 in France.

The focus of the series of events was the re-interment of Private Russell Bosisto, a soldier of the 27th Battalion (in which Howard Pope had served) whose remians had been discovered earlier in the year on the ridge near the Windmill at Pozieres. Russell had fallen in the attack which captured the feature on 4 August 1916, the culminating point of the Battle for Pozieres.

All of us were in awe of these men. I recall Ted in particular recounting the story of the Red Baron's final flight, the immediate aftermath of which Ted was witness to.

He was clearly a man who had led a very active and full life. Sadly but inevitably, within a few years, they had all passed away although Ted, the oldest of the group, was the last to do so. A life well lived.

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"Smout was born in Brisbane, Queensland in 1898. He joined the Australian Army Medical Corps in September of 1915 at the age of 17, giving his age as 18 years 8 months. Upon arrival in France, he was posted to the 3rd Sanitary Section of the Australian Army Medical Corps where he served as a stretcher bearer.

During an engagement near the Somme River on 21 April 1918, Smout was an eyewitness to the final moments in the life and career of the famous German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen (aka the "Red Baron"), whose aeroplane had landed nearby after he was fatally shot. Smout reported that Richthofen's last word was "kaputt" ("finished") just before he died. Smout said later in life that he resisted the temptation to souvenir the Red Baron's boots and Iron Cross. He was discharged on 8 September 1919.

He was awarded France's highest honour, being made a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion d'Honneur in 1998 and also received the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community. A regular participant in Anzac Day marches, Smout became one of the most celebrated war veterans in Queensland as one of Australia’s last surviving WWI veteran. He died at 106 years old, leaving a widow of 69 years, Ella and son, Dr Westall "Westy" Smout, himself a WWII "Bomber Navigator" veteran.

According to historical journalist Jonathan King, "Ted Smout's legacy is in the hundreds of newspaper articles written about him, the book he wrote Three Centuries Spanned, hours and hours of video footage instructing Australians not to get involved in conflicts like Iraq or Afghanistan. His main message always was we should not glorify war. It was a mistake to fight in a far flung battle that had nothing to do with Australia, and he pleaded with the nation never to do it again." - READ MORE LINK (en.m.wikipedia.org)