The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- John Stewart
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company
- Place of Birth:
- Bunbury, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Alexander Smith
- Mothers's Name:
- Christina Miller Smith
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi.
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tarsau, Kanu II, Tamuarang
- Camps Japan:
- Yamane, Niihama (ore trucks).
- 4/6635 & 8844
- Rashin Maru Party
- Return Details 1945:
- Wakayama‐Okinawa USS Sanctuary, Okinawa-Manila USS Bingham, Manila-Morotai-Darwin PBY Catalina aircraft A24-377, Darwin-Perth, B24 Liberator aircraft A72-379.
Above: Stewie on left.
We believe Stewie to be J. Smith who played in the very successful 2/4th Aussie Rules Football team while at Northam. (hopefully this can be confirmed??Can you help us email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Above: Alec Smith travelled to Perth to farewell his son Harold – Stewie should have remained on the ship ‘Aquitania’ but like hundreds of 2/4th soldiers, disobeyed orders. Stewie sailed onto Singapore so was not left behind. Please read further.
Below: Harold andf Stewie have been reported missing in Singapore following the battle and surrender on 15 Feb 1942, when their brother Thomas John died aged 30 years.
It would have been a terrible time for their parents Alex and Christina Smith.
John ‘Stewie’ Smith enlisted at Waroona into AIF 20 July 1940, later joined 2/4th’s ‘C’ Coy, 12 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt. Mick Wedge.
In Singapore he worked at Jahore Bahru and Adam Park before returning to Selarang. He was part of ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion working at the Hellfire Pass Cutting, later considered fit by the Japanese to work in Japan.
Please read further about ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
He sailed with ‘Rashin’ Maru Party and worked Yamane and Niihama on the ore trucks from where he was recovered at the end of the war. Please read further about ‘Rashin’ Maru.
Stewie’s father Alexander Smith was born 3 April 1888 Fowlis-Wester, Perthshire and married Christina Robertson Miller 6 August 1909 Crieff, Perthshire. They had a family of 12 children. Stewie was their seventh child. He had five brothers and six sisters.
We believe Alexander Smith’s family moved to Waroona soon after arriving WA.
It is not known when the Smith family migrated to Western Australia however it was between the birth of their second daughter Jean b. 1910 Scotland and their third child and first son, Thomas John Smith b. 1912 Bunbury.
Stewie’s grandparents also came to WA. His grandfather Thomas Smith died on 5 August 1948 Bunbury, WA aged 84 years. Stewie’s grandmother was Jane Gibson Palmer b. 22 Sep 1861 Glasgow, Lanarkshire and she married Thomas Smith 28 May 1886 Methven, Perthshire. They had 11 children. She died 30 November 1940 Nedlands aged 79 years.
Below: Andrew Smith is Alexander’s brother and uncle to Stewie and Harold.
Stewie’s father died at Waroona July 1980 aged 92 years. He was buried at Bunbury. His mother Christina died Bunbury 13 Jan 1942 aged 53 years just a few days prior to ‘Aquitania’ sailing to Singapore on 16 Jan 1942.
Brother Harold Mervyn Smith
WX17448 born 1922 Bunbury enlisted AIF 17 Oct 1941 was with reinforcements who joined 2/4th onboard ‘Aquitania’ when it anchored off Fremantle for the night of 15 Jan 1942. Harold was with ‘E’ Coy, Special Reserve Battalion under Commanding Officer Saggers when they were ambushed by the Japanese at South West Bukit Timah during the fighting at Singapore.
Following the Bukit Timah Ambush Harold managed to escape to Sumatra where he was taken POW by Japanese a little later.
Another younger brother of Stewie – Ernst George Smith WX22663 enlisted. He was born in 1924. Ernst was residing at Waroona in 1968.
Stewie married Audrey Coral Pendergast. Audrey was born 1924 Leicester, Leicestershire. They had three sons and one daughter. She died on 8 September 1964 at Bayswater aged 40 years.
Stewie Smith died Bayswater 23rd December 1990 aged 72 years.
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Nihama, Hiroshima #2-B- Japan
- Yamane, Hiroshima #3-D - Japan