Robert William SMITH

SMITH, Robert William

Service Number: Q141905
Enlisted: 1 June 1942
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 1st Field Bakery and Butchery
Born: Liverpool, Lancashire, England, 24 June 1885
Home Town: Tewantin, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Baker
Died: Tewantin, Queensland, Australia, 17 April 1946, aged 60 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Privately Cremated
Mt Thompson Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, 329 Nursery Road, Holland Park, Brisbane QLD
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

1 Jun 1942: Involvement Private, Q141905
1 Jun 1942: Enlisted
1 Jun 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, Q141905
1 Jun 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, Q141905, Unit: 1st Australian Garrison Battalion
15 Oct 1942: Transferred Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, 1st Field Bakery and Butchery
10 Mar 1944: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, Q141905, 8th Field Bakery

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

Biography contributed by Sue Smith

Robert William Smith was born on 24th June 1885 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England UK, the second eldest son and child of 9 children born to his parents Alfred and Harriet Smith.  In 1886 as an infant, he migrated with his parents and his older brother Alfred from England to Australia on the ship Dorunda.  His occupation was a baker and on the 14th May 1914 he married Helen Mabel Tuckett at the Moorooka Congregational Church in Brisbane QLD.  They settled in Tewantin QLD where they raised 6 children, Myrtle, James, Dorothy, Robert, Helen and Richard.  Robert was a member of the Tewantin Cricket Club and the Masonic Lodge.

On 1st June 1942 aged 56, Robert enlisted for WW2 at Nambour QLD.  He’s described as being 5ft 6ins tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair.  His service number was Q141905, his rank Private and he was assigned to the 1st Australian Garrison Battalion at Mt Gravatt QLD. 

The 1st Australian Garrison Battalion, a unit of Militia or Home Guard, was allotted the task of security and defence of the 3 and 4 Australian Advanced Ordnance Depots.  The camp was located north of the depot.  It was basic and consisted of a tented area, ablutions blocks and a recreation hut.  The task of ensuring the safety and security of the vehicle depots meant that battalion members stayed on site and security detail required a short walk to the depot, slightly south of the camp.

In mid-September 1942 he transferred to the 1st Field Bakery at Sellheim Military Camp at Charters Towers.  It was one of the largest stationary transit camps In Queensland.  It was a major centre for training and was located on the banks of the Burdekin River.  It contained mess and kitchen facilities, recreation facilities including YMCA and Salvation Army recreation halls, post offices, main camp headquarters, medical facilities and workshops.

In early February 1943 he was detached for duty to the 8th Field Bakery at Townsville Showgrounds and then in April 1943 he transferred to this unit. 

In late November 1943 he was evacuated to 2/14th Australian General Hospital (AGH) at Townsville with an undisclosed condition and a week later was transferred to the 2/4th AGH at Redbank in Brisbane.  He was discharged from hospital in early January 1944 and in early March was discharged from the service having served 649 days active service within Australia. 

Robert died on 17th April 1946 at Tewantin QLD aged 60 and cremated at Mt Thompson Cemetery in Brisbane. 

Robert William Smith was awarded for service in WW2 the 1939-1945 Star and the War Medal 1939-1945.

Respectfully submitted by Sue Smith 27th February 2023.