10/1340 Private John Ernest Smith – Wellington Infantry
The Smith family moved into the Porirua area with the Manawatu & Wellington Railway. John Smith was a ganger[i]
and the railway line was constructed, starting in 1880, to connect Wellington and Palmerston North.
John Smith married Alice Gard in 1888 and the couple had six children, two daughters and four sons.
All of the children were born in Porirua with John Ernest born on the 17th December 1893.[ii]
The family all started at Porirua School with Emily May Smith, the youngest being enrolled in 1902.
At some stage the Smith family moved North and John Smith is recorded on the 1914  Electoral roll as living in Makarua with his wife Alice. Makerua is a small settlement between Levin and Shannon.
John (Jack) Ernest Smith for his compulsory military training enrolled in C Company (Shannon) of the 7th Regiment and
his enlistment papers in 1914 indicate that he was still serving. Jack Smith is listed as a labourer and living, presumably with his parents, at Makerua.[iii] Jack entered Trentham Camp in August 1914.
10/1340 Private John Ernest Smith, Wellington Infantry Battalion departed from
Wellington on the 14th December 1914 for overseas service.
The Wellington Battalion arrived in Egypt in January 1915 and began to train for
the planned landings in the Dardanelles’. Private Smith landed on the 25th April
1915 and was reported ‘missing in action’ early in May 1915.
The confused nature of the fighting at Gallipoli mean that no firm date of death
could be established so the 16th May 1915 was set based on a report by
Lt Colonel Malone, Commanding Officer of the Wellington Battalion, that listed
men who were originally missing but know to have been killed.[iv]
Jack was remembered by his younger brother James who placed a note in the Manawatu Standard on the 8th May 1916.[v]
10/1340 Private J E Smith is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial on Gallipoli and was also mention as one of the
fallen school boys from Porirua School.
Two of Jack’s brothers, Harry and James also served in WW1.
Archway Archives New Zealand – Military files: 10/1340 Private John Ernest Smith
NZ BDM Online
Paperspast Online
Adopt an Anzac - Horowhenua
Private John Ernest Smith – Auckland Weekly (1915)
Postcard ANZAC Landings April 1915 – Private Collection
[i] Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Files: 10/1340 Private John Ernest Smith
[ii] NZ BDM Births John Ernest Smith 1894/17839
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand - Military Files: 10/1340 Private John Ernest Smith
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand - Military Files: 10/1340 Private John Ernest Smith
[v] Roll of Honour - Smith, 8th May 1916, Manawatu Standard
ANZAC Landings  April 1915