46 James Smith
James was 19 years old from Auburn, NSW. He was working as a blacksmith for Ritchie Bros. steel and rail works builders from the age of 15 and at 5ft 7”. He may have been a slight build, but he was hardened by his trade and this no doubt prepared him physically and mentally for the tough conditions of war that lay ahead .
He served continuously at Gallipoli up to the evacuation, and then the Western front in Europe until the war ended in 1918. He also attended officer training and was appointed Lance.Corp.
Young James must have been as hard as the very steel he was bending and shaping in his trade from the age of 15. He declared on his return home that he was never sick or wounded the entire time during the war……James Smith’s war record stands as testimony to this declaration.
He was never absent without leave and had no offences of any kind recorded against him. He is one of the very few to have a spotless war record, absent of any sick leave, offence or wounds.
This young man’s integrity, work ethic, his considerable physical condition and stamina throughout the war effort is nothing short of heroic, or perhaps a bloody miracle.
John’s medical report on his return shows he was probably as fit as the day he left. extraordinary statements stating he was unwell only when he suffered from constipation when he returned home to Australia. ……
We would all like to find out more about James, he was a fine figure of a man, proud of his record and truly a very robust young man.