The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (634) Corporal Arthur Trivett Smart, 12th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France, Nord Pas de Calais, Nord, Merris
Accession Number PAFU2015/064.01
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 24 February 2015
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Craig Blanch, the story for this day was on (634) Corporal Arthur Trivett Smart, 12th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

634 Corporal Arthur Trivett Smart, 12th Battalion, AIF
DOW 30 July 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 24 February 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Corporal Arthur Trivett Smart.

Arthur Smart was born on 10 February 1880 in Queenstown, South Australia, to John and Anna Smart. He was the last of seven children born to the couple. By the time the First World War began, he was working as a labourer in Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Smart enlisted for service with the AIF on 5 September, joining the 12th Battalion, which was made up of men from Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia. He was sent to Hobart, where he joined the battalion and began his training.

He embarked with his unit from Hobart in October aboard the transport ship Geelong, joining other transports at Albany before sailing on to Egypt. After arriving in early December, the Australians began training for war in earnest. In early March 1915 the 12th Battalion sailed to Lemnos Island in preparation for Gallipoli.

Smart landed on Gallipoli in the second wave during the pre-dawn hours of 25 April. Somewhere over the ensuing three days he suffered gunshot wounds to both feet and was evacuated back to Egypt. He returned to Gallipoli during the early stages of the August Offensive. His battalion was located to the south of Lone Pine, and soon after returning to duty Smart was wounded again. This time though, he remained on duty.

By the end of the month Smart’s health had deteriorated and, suffering eczema and conjunctivitis, he was once again evacuated to Egypt. He re-joined his battalion in January 1916 when the AIF returned to Egypt.

He was promoted to corporal in March and sailed with his battalion to France at the end of the month. The battalion was based at Strazeele before going into the front line the following month.

Smart was involved in all of the 12th Battalion’s major actions on the Western Front, from Pozières in July 1916 to the advance to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917 and the Second Battle of Bullecourt. That August he was sent to England to attend a Lewis gun school of instruction, which he passed with good results. He returned to France and the 12th Battalion in March 1918.

Smart took part in stemming the German Spring Offensive later that month, seeing action near Meteren. He would have participated in a series of patrols and raids carried out known as “peaceful penetration”.

By July 1918 the 12th Battalion was in front-line positions near the town of Strazeele. In July the 10th Battalion attacked the nearby town of Merris. During the initial bombardment in the early hours of 30 July, shrapnel from Australian artillery fire caused three casualties in the 12th Battalion, one of whom was Smart: he was hit in the head, suffering a fractured skull and jaw.

He was evacuated to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station but succumbed to his injuries shortly after arrival. He was laid to rest in the Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery. He was 38 years old.

Arthur Smart’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Corporal Arthur Trivett Smart, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (634) Corporal Arthur Trivett Smart, 12th Battalion, AIF, First World War (video)