Harold Edward Benjamin and Roy Alfred Walter Smith lived in the heart of Annandale at 135 Annandale Street. Sons of the Annandale Mayor, Frederick Smith, they were members of Village Church (then called St Aidan’s) and attended Annandale Primary and Fort Street High School.
Roy, the younger brother, was studying to be a surveyor when he enlisted. He embarked on August 19, 1914 aged 20. Harold, who worked as a clerk, left for the war less than a year later, on June 25, 1915. He was 23 years old.
The brothers served in different places and with different battalions, but they ended up together in the 19th Battalion on the Western Front.
On October 8, 1917, both brothers were hit by the same shell at Ypres. Harold died that day and Roy died seven days later. Harold was 26 and Roy 23 when they died.
There was an elder Smith brother, Charles William, who had not gone to war. He remembered his two lost brothers at his wedding in 1918, with the bride’s bouquet tied with a ribbon in the colours of Harold and Roy’s battalion.
Information taken from:
The AIF Project (https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=281255)
Annals from Aidan’s in Annandale (http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34897442?q&versionId=43286545)
Annandale’s Great War: A Short Walk (http://www.ramin.com.au/walks/great-war-short-walk.shtml)
Australian War Memorial (https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1500085/)