13814 Private Frank Hathaway Smith – Otago Infantry Regiment

Francis Wilson Smith came to New Zealand with his parents in the late 1840s. After serving in the militia, he was granted land at Horokiwi. Francis Wilson Smith settled Tunapo, Paekakariki Hill in 1859.  Later his two younger brothers took up land at Paekakariki, and as Francis steadily increased his holdings, he and his brothers eventually farmed an extensive
area from MacKay’s  Crossing south over the Paekakariki Hills to Horokiwi, and along the ridges to Pukerua Bay[i].

Francis Wilson Smith married Frances Sarah Hathaway in 1864 and had a family of seven children with their oldest son
John Sidney Smith born in 1865[ii]. John Sidney Smith grew up on Tunapo and he later married Eva Florence Futter in
1895. The couple had three sons with the oldest Frank Hathaway Smith born in Wellington on 25th January 1896.

On 17th February 1916 the NZ Times carried a list of men who had volunteers for service with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) including:[iii]

                Eric Stewart Brady, Pahautanui, farmer (infantry)
                Frank Hathaway Smith, Paekakariki, farmer (infantry)
                Norman Keith Jones, Pahautanui, farrier (mounted)

On 7th March 1916 Frank signed military papers indicating that he worked as a farmer on his father’s farm in Paekakariki and had previous military service in the territorial forces 6th (Manawatu) Mounted Rifles. Frank listed as a single man
living with his parents and he listed his mother Mrs E F Smith as his next of kin[iv].

Private Smith entered military camp as a part of the 14th Reinforcements and following basic training left New Zealand
on 25th June 1916 for England. In England Private Smith arrived at Sling Military Camp on 26th August 1916 and was
posted to the training battalions before being posted to the Otago Infantry. Training at Sling was brief with reinforcements needed following the Battle of the Somme. On 19th September 1916 Private Smith was posted to France. In France
Private Smith was attached to the 1st Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment. Private Smith was with his unit when they
were committed to the October 1917 Battle of Passchendaele. Private Smith was reported wounded on 12th October
1917 with a gunshot wound (GSW) to the right shoulder. Private Smith was evacuated to the rear and then to England where he was admitted to hospital. While the wound was noted as severe on 22nd November 1917 Private Smith was discharged to the Codford Military Convalescent Camp. Private Smith was posted to the Reserve Battalion of the Otago Regiment in April 1918 but remained in England for the remainder of the war. 
Private Smith was repatriated on 26th June 1919 arriving in New Zealand on 27th July 1919 where he was given a
month’s leave finally being discharged from the NZEF ‘on termination of his period of engagement.’

Frank Hathaway Smith returned to farming in the Paekakariki / Horokiwi area marrying Audrey Kathleen Rutter in 1929[v].

In the Second World War Frank was appointed, on 1st August 1941, as Temporary Captain F H Smith of the Otaki Battalion commanding the Paekakariki Platoon of the Home Guard. As the war progressed and the Japanese threat reduced the Home Guard was reorganised with T / Captain Smith still commanding the Paekakariki Platoon but with the rank of Temporary Lieutenant but now the platoon was part of the Hutt Battalion. T / Lieutenant Smith was posted to the Officer Reserve in 1944 as the Home Guard was disbanded[vi].

Frank Hathaway Smith died on 3rd August 1975 and is buried Paraparaumu  Beach cemetery.

Frank and his brother Wilfred (Wit) Smith are remembered at St Alban’s Church on the Pauatahanui Roll of Honour.

The Smith family lived at the top of the Horokiwi Valley near the summit to Paekakariki Hill so had strong connections to both communities and is listed in Porirua War Stories. The Smith family also had strong connections to St Alban’s Church where a number of the Smith family are buried including the grandparents of Frank and Wilfred.

Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Obituary Gerald Hathaway Smith 1939 – 2007
Transmission Gully Report - European Settlement and Subsistence
Pauatahanui – a local history

Grave Frank Hathaway Smith

[i] European Settlement and Subsistence
[ii] NZ BDM
[iii] Men Enlisting, 17th February 1916, NZ Times
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 13814 Private Frank Hathaway Smith
[v] NZ BDM
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 13814 Private Frank Hathaway Smith (1914 – 1945)


NZ Samoa Expeditionary force landing in Samoa 1915