The First A.I.F.
Citations & Awards
Life in the Trenches
Bullecourt - Bert’s death
Stories from the Front
More Stories from the Front
Extracts from C.E.W. Bean
Extracts from H.R. Williams
"Red & White Diamond"
Capt. V.E. Smythe notes
Royal Australian Navy
Family who served our country
Letters, cards, papers
Conclusion - Post War
The Next Generations
These pages were written by Margaret Johnston with help from her family and friends.
Chapter 15: WWI photograghs
I would be pleased to add any additional A.I.F. photographs of any one in any of the Battalions covered in these pages.
Group on “Euripides” on way to Egypt - November 1915
Lieut. E.V. Smythe 5th from Left - 3rd row from the Front.
Group - 24th Battalion Officers on Arrival in France 1916 after Gallipoli and Egypt.
Lieut. E. V. Smythe 2nd from left in front row
We received a very large photograph of this card from a contact and in studying it, it is probable that it was taken some time after the Battle of Warlencourt at Dinkum Spur, when Viv won his first Military Cross, as there is a ribbon on his tunic.
A group of 24th Bn. Officers at unknown location. I believe it was taken before the Battle at Broodseinde Ridge in 1917 because a contact advised me that he knew one of the officers in the photo was killed after it was taken. Capt. E.V Smythe is 2nd from the left in the first row. Names of officers were listed on the back of the photo.
Vern and Bert Smythe - 2nd and 3rd from left in back row. Possibly taken in Australia
Vern & Bert Smythe (front row) Maurice and Rupert Ferguson
and Bill Wise (back row) in Egypt
Bert Smythe rear right with H. G. McClintoch (4th Bn) and A. Ryan (2nd Battalion)
taken before November 1916 in England.
Lt. P. E. Smythe at Strasburg Cathedral – Post War.
Lt. A. J. Kerr K.I.A. Pozieres 27-7-16
Inside the above Remembrance Card.
Lieut. H. W. Clough M.M.
Lieut. Clifford A. A. Ellis M.M.
Lieut. Frank Sellick- Back row right.
Group – Who. When, Where – Lieut. Perce Smythe’s Card -
Possibly Officer Cadets in Cambridge c. March 1918.
Unknown Group – Hospital or Convalescent – Lieut. Perce Smythe’s Card.
Soldier near flower vase with cap may be Perce
24th Battalion Officer and unknown soldiers- undated
Unknown group 24th Battalion Soldiers - Undated
Viv’s wife Clytie, received cards from a W. (William) Quigley (details on a card) No. 2012A, 4th Btn. Machine Gun Section. I believe I was able to identify him as William Quigley from AWM Records. His mother’s address on enlistment was at Gladesville and that is where the boys’ family home was at the start of the war and the possible connection. I believe Clytie’s family also lived in that area.
‘Toby’ the author of the three cards below was harder to identify but I believe that now I have most of his details. On the first card, at the top (written upside down) is the name Trooper Biggs A.F. A search at the National Archives showed an Albert Frederick Biggs, who became an Officer Cadet in Sept 1918 and promoted to 2nd Lieut. in Feb 1919. Date of birth was shown as 18 August 1894.
Trooper Albert Frederick Biggs No. 475 2nd Aust. Light Horse embarked 8 July 1916 and the first card from Egypt about his arrival there was dated August 30, 1916. His father was Albert Ernest Biggs of Teven Creek, NSW. An Albert Frederick Biggs was born in Lismore in 1894 with parents Albert and Eliza on the BDM Records of NSW. The home address before embarkation was Ballina. Where the nickname Toby originated and his connection to the family is a mystery. He mentions on the second card about receiving mail from a Doris - Clytie had a sister of that name.
In December 2012, I received an email from the son-in-law of Albert "Toby" Biggs on behalf of his wife. They were thrilled after Googling Toby’s name, to be directed to the Smythe Family website and found the copies of the three cards which had been sent to Clytie. Toby survived the war but almost all of his belongings, including his war memorabilia were destroyed in a fire. His daughter found it hard to believe these cards still existed.
After the exchange of a few emails, I decided I would send the originals to his Toby's daughter. I was told she cried, when they arrived in the post. This is a great result from the work on my ‘Lest We Forget’ pages on the Smythe Family website.