The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (286) Private Malcolm Teesdale Smith, 10th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2017.1.86
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 27 March 2017
Access Open
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

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 , the story for this day was on (286) Private Malcolm Teesdale Smith, 10th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

286 Private Malcolm Teesdale Smith, 10th Battalion, AIF
KIA 27 April 1915
Photograph: P04633.001

Story delivered 27 March 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Malcolm Teesdale Smith.

Popularly known as known as “Mickie”, Malcolm Teesdale Smith was born in Tasmania on 31 May 1890, the second son of Lydia and Henry Teesdale Smith. His father was a prominent engineering contractor who worked on public construction projects.

Malcolm spent much of his early life in Western Australia before moving with his family to South Australia. There his father was responsible for the construction of Adelaide’s tramway tracks, as well as other railway projects around the state. Malcolm was educated at St Peter’s College and went on to work as an assistant engineer on some of his father’s projects, including the Minnipa Hill Railway construction. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was engaged to Miss J. Culross of Mount Lofty in the Adelaide Hills.

Smith enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force shortly after the outbreak of war. He was posted to the 10th Battalion and found himself in Number One Section of 1 Platoon, A Company, together with a number of schoolmates from St Peter’s College. They began training in Australia before leaving for service overseas in October aboard the troopship Ascanius. The battalion arrived in Egypt, where the men continued their military training.

In the early hours of 25 April 1915, the men of the 10th Battalion rowed silently towards the Turkish shore at what would become known as Anzac Cove. The war diary of the battalion recorded the journey:
no sound was heard, except the splash of the oars; we thought that our landing was to be effected quite unopposed, but when our boats were
within about 30 yards of the beach a rifle was fired from the hill in front of us above the beach, right in front of where we were heading for. Almost immediately heavy rifle and machine-gun fire was opened upon us.
On reaching the shore the men made a dash for the heights above the beach.

Private Smith survived the first hectic hours on Gallipoli, despite being shot in the neck while still on the beach. He advanced into the heights with a few members of the 10th Battalion, and was reportedly with Private Arthur Blackburn as he reached some of the furthest positions inland. Two days later, Private Smith was hit for a second time as he went to assist a wounded comrade. He died almost immediately. He was 25 years old.

Malcolm Smith’s body was recovered from the front line, and today he lies in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 Australians who died while serving in the First World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection; he is pictured in the front row on the right.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Malcolm Teesdale Smith, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

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