Australia Remembers

Australia Remembers


…. A family worth mentioning was Ted and Maud Smith of 98 Stirling Street, Toodyay. They had nine children. Their three girls married soldiers and all six boys went into the army at various stages.

Joyce married Jack Baker WX 9367 of 2/4th MGB and lived on a small farm called Coorabin near Coorinja; they had four children. Jack was taken prisoner and spent time on the Burma Railway.

While Jack was away Joyce had to run the farm, rear the family and organise a trainer for Sansea, a top race horse. Jack returned to a normal family life but died in Hollywood Hospital aged 55.

Nellie married Tom Dorizzi WX12884 2/4th MGB and they had one daughter, Geraldine, known as ‘Tiddles’ as a little girl. Tom died in North Borneo in March 1945, aged 31.

Gwen married Frank Morphew WX5772 who was badly wounded on the Kokoda Trail. He was carried out by fuzzy-wuzzy natives. He suffered poor health and died in his mid fifties.

The eldest boy Bill ‘Bricky’ after a North African retreat, heard that Ted Hayes (owner of Wicklow Hills) had to be left with a shattered knee. Bricky insisted on going back into no man’s land that night to find Ted and bring him in. Years later Ted spent some time as a Toodyay Roads Board member.

Dick and Snowy served in the Middle East.

Dick’s boat got lost near Malaya and he was listed missing for some months, finally turning up as a prisoner of the Japanese. After the war he returned a nervous and mental wreck. He was discharged on 19-12-1945 with deferred pay of 799.11.7d. His family had disintegrated, his mother died of cancer aged 53 early in the war, father had left the district and each one had gone their own way after being discharged.

‘Dick’, HJ Smith never married and was found dead in his camp at Coorabin aged 50. Pre-war he had been a champion racing cyclist on his Swansea cycle. He won the Moora wheel race 1½ miles against top Perth riders at their Easter athletic carnival. Earnings equalled six months salary.Lucas cycle promoters arranged a match race between Dick and their Perth champion, Bill Humphreys. Two races were arranged on the Toodyay showgrounds on show day, either 1938 or 1939, but the city slicker had superior tactics to the shy country boy.

DR ‘Snowy’ Smith talked of survival in jungle warfare, surviving in wet clothes and bog for days, erratic food supply, malaria and tinea rampant as well as Jap snipers watching for any movement.

I am not aware of the younger boys war service (Joffa, Garney and Jacky Smith)


by Wally Chitty