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55633 Rifleman John Smyth

B Company 1st Battalion

3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade

7th December 1917


Born in Belfast on 29/11/1892. His parents were John Robinson Smyth(born in 1860) and Elizabeth(surname unknown(born in 1866)).

John had 2 brothers, William(born in 1886) and Samuel(born in 1900).

He also had 3 sisters, Isabella(born in 1891), Elizabeth(born in 1896) and Jane(born in 1898).

In the 1901 Irish Census, the family were recorded as living on Keswick Street, Shankhill, Antrim, Ireland.

John snr. was employed as a carpenter.

In 1911 john moved to New Zealand, where his uncle, James Robertson was already living.

He found work and before enlisting in Ashburton on 09/05/1917 was working as a farm hand for W.T.P. Lock at Methven, Canterbury.       

His medical, was performed at the same time, the details of which are as follows;

Apparent Age - 24 Years 6 Months, Height - 5ft 31/2 inches, Weight - 127lbs,

Chest Measurement - Minimum - 31 inches, Maximum - 341/2 inches, Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes - Grey,

Colour of Hair - Brown, Religious Profession - Presbyterian.

John was posted to G Company 29th Reinforcements on 28/05/1917.

Whilst at Featherston Camp, he was found guilty of overstaying leave on 28/07/1917 and awarded a forfeit of 1 days pay.

He left for England on 15/08/1917 embarking from Wellington aboard troopship 92 "Ruahine", disembarking in Glasgow just under 2 months later on 02/10/1917. The following day he was marched into Brockton Camp and posted to A Company 6th Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade(NZRB).

It was the end of the month on 23/10/1917 that John left for France, marching into Etaples Camp ,

France 3 days later.

He was posted to B Company 1st Battalion NZRB on 02/11/1917 and was killed in action the following month on 07/12/1917.

John was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.  


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