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William Herbert Smith

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Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    William Herbert AWMM
  • Surname
    Smith AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    C/JX 135825 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Irene Smith (wife), Spring Street, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Married AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Navy AWMM
  • Service number
    C/JX 135825 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of Albert and Violet Smith; husband of Irene Smith, of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.

    Next of kin details compiled from information in the Casualty lists published in the newspapers.

    HMS Neptune was launched at Portsmouth on 31 January 1933. She was one of five 'Leander' class light cruisers completed between 1933 and 1935. Two others were HMS Achilles and Leander serving in the RNZN. They displaced 7,200 tons, could make 32 knots and carried eight 6 inch guns and 550 crew. The Neptune was in the Mediterranean from 1 December 1941 as part of Force K which was searching for Axis shipping, especially those taking supplies to Rommel in North Africa. Early on the 19th the ships of Force K ran into a minefield.The Neptune hit three or four mines and sank with only one survivor. At the same time the Aurora was badly damaged and Penelope slightly.Trying to reach Neptune to assist, the destroyer Kandahar was mined and had to be scuttled the following day. On the same day in Alexandria harbour the Queen Elizabeth with Admiral Cunningham on board and the Valiant were both badly damaged and sank.The Mediterranean Fleet battle squadron ceased to exist. Of the total crew of 766 there was only one survivor.He was rescued off a raft five days later by an Italian destroyer and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp. AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    19 December 1941 AWMM
    Age 26 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name
    Chatham Naval Memorial, Chatham, Kent, England AWMM

Roll of Honour

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  • To my grandfather, who I never met, I have always wondered how things may have been if you were alive when I was born. My mum was only 3 when you died so she cannot remember you either, only a few photos we have.
    Public - Linda Jane - Other relative - 13 July 2017

Sources

Sources

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Contributors

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DateNameLocationRelationshipContact
13 July 2017Linda JaneHelensville, Auckland, New ZealandOther relative
The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.