Studio portrait of 462 Private (Pte) Edwin Richardson "Fatty" Smith, 22nd Battalion, of ...

Accession Number DA08695
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Glass original half plate negative
Maker Darge Photographic Company
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Broadmeadows
Date made c 9 May 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

Studio portrait of 462 Private (Pte) Edwin Richardson "Fatty" Smith, 22nd Battalion, of Mooroopna, Vic. A bank clerk prior to enlisting on 12 January 1915, Pte Smith embarked on HMAT Ulysses on 8 May 1915. He served at Gallipoli, where he was awarded a Military Medal for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the field. His recommendation states: 'On the night of December 19/20, 1915 at Gallipoli, these were amongst the last of the 22nd Battalion to leave the trenches on front of Johnston's Jolly. A front of about 550 yards of trench was divided up between them and their duty was to develop sufficient fire along the whole front to make conditions appear normal. This was successfully done...' Pte Smith went on to serve on the Western Front, where he participated in the fourth night AIF trench raids into enemy lines. The first of these groups were known as the 'The Black Anzacs'. He was a member of a raid on the night of June 29/30, as part of a company of men drawn from the 6th Brigade. In his last letter home to his family, Pte Smith wrote of the raid, and the soldiers having blackened faces; 'Old Fritz did not know what was up when about 60 blackfellows jumped into his trenches...It was rather exciting crawling along the ground on our tummies on no-man's land. It was alright out there watching our artillery give them some iron rations.' Known also to his family as "Fatty", Pte Smith further explains: 'We had to march about 40 miles...one gets used to these long marches as long as he is not troubled by sore feet or chafe. I get a fair bit of the latter on account of being too fat. With all the work and walking we have to do I do not get any thinner...' Pte Smith was killed soon after on 26 August 1916. He was posthumously awarded the Military Medal on 20 October 1916.

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