Search This Blog

Thursday, 27 February 2014

SEARCHING FOR SOLDIERS - the Smythe family of Gladesville and Jerilderie - Our team member Betty details her search for four brothers....

Over a year ago the Ryde Goes to War project began and volunteers were given various letters of the alphabet to find service personnel from the Ryde district who served in World War 1.I was 'lucky' enough to be given the letters 'J' and 'S'.The names from all the Honour Boards in the area were collected and amongst my list were four Smythes onthe Honour Board at Presbyterian Church of St Andrew,  Gladesville. They were recorded as:

After some searching through Service records in the National Archives and the Australian War Memorial,electoral rolls and BMD records for NSW and Victoria, I discovered they were brothers and their parentswere Edward Albert and Annie Smythe. The 1913 electoral roll shows Mr & Mrs Smythe living in Eltham StGladesville. He was a bootmaker.


Born in Victoria, he enlisted on 21 August 1914 aged 24 and embarked on 20 October 1914 on
HMAT Euripides. On 30 April 1915 at Gallipoli he suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder. He
was killed in action in the second battle of Bullecourt on 3 May 1917.


Born in Victoria he enlisted on 24 September 1915 and rose to the rank of Major. By March 1917 he
was Lieutenant in the 24th Btn and won the Military Cross. In October of the same year he was 
awarded the Bar. In 1915 his wife's address is “Glenvale” in Morrison Rd Gladesville. He servedalso in World War 11 from September 1939 to July 1946. He died in Port Moresby aged 77 in October 1968.


Born in Jerilderie. NSW, he enlisted with his brother, Herbert Andrew, and they served together in
Gallipoli. He served in France and In March 1917 as Captain he won the Military Cross. In October
1917 he was awarded the Bar. He returned to Australia in December 1918 and died in March 1982.


 Born in Victoria, he enlisted on 30 April 1915 aged 22. He became a 2nd Lieutenant and in late 1918  was awarded a Military Cross. He died in 1966 and the Ryerson Index states he was 'late of Denistone.
I had some difficulty finding records of birth certificates in Victoria to prove that they were brothers, so one
evening I Googled ..... 'Jerilderie Historical Society' – no luck, then I tried 'Jerilderie World War 1 soldiers' where I found pure gold!

The Smythe family have a website and I would recommend that you check it out.The website is in chapters – family, letters, diaries, photos, honours and awards etc etc. Herbert wrote many stories for the Jerilderie newspaper, giving a wonderful record of Gallipoli. There are letters from their brothers and sisters still at home – it was obviously a large, very close family.
The records on the website of their heroic feats to win Military Crosses are amazing reading, And so it is that 4 names on a Roll of Honour through a bit of searching and a lot of luck (thank you Mr Google) have become a wonderful, interesting story of amazing brothers in an amazing family.
Permission has been given by the Smythe website webmaster to include their link.

15 Feb 2014

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Welcome back to 2014....

The Ryde Goes to War project recently held its first meeting for 2014.
We were pleased to welcome so many of our researchers and get their updates on their progress in researching each group of surnames.

In Summary of 2013:

* Our database of names was divided alphabetically, with each researcher given a letter to try to identify and flesh out the story of each name, and find connections to the district. We have tied to identify and eliminate any duplication of names, but agree that some might not be found.

* We searched for any newspapers available detailing local reports of service, wounded, deaths and the home front.

* We also conducted a photo & transcription day at Field of Mars Cemetery, Ryde,  to identify and record all Commonwealth War Grave headstones and any other WWI memorials. (One section remains to be completed)

 Our planning for 2014 has commenced -- what we will do with, and how we will use all the data we are collecting. We also established a publishing sub-committee to look at, how we can tell the stories of those on our lists who have tales to tell, who gets included and the format it will take.

Our Committee was also represented at meetings with the local community and Council Committee in supporting and planning for the Centenary of WWI.

We look forward to sharing the journey of the Project in 2014.