SMITH, James Alexander
(Service number 34741)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 7 March 1905 Place of Birth

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin Mrs M Smith, Glen-iti, Canterbury
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces (?) Served in
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation NZ Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 20yh Reinforcements Catnerbury Infantry Battalion, C Company
Date 7 December 1916
Transport HMNZT 71 Port Lyttelton
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 4 October 1917 Age 24
Place of Death Ypres, Belgium
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen
Memorial Reference XVI D 23
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Gleniti War Memorial (lists a J Smith)

Biographical Notes

Son of William & Matilda Smith of Timaru.Timaru Herald, Volume CVII, Issue 16482, 1 March 1918, Page 5

In Wednesday's issue a letter was published in reference to the death of Private James A. Smith, of Glen-iti. This letter, one of sympathy to Mrs Smith, the deceased soldier's mother, was written by two Timaru soldiers who were serving with her boy—Privates Lake Sinclair and J. Ramsay—whom Mrs Smith desires to thank for their kindly thought which prompted them to send it. Timaru Herald, Volume CVII, Issue 16480, 27 February 1918, Page 8

Private James SMITH'S DEATH. Mrs W. Smith, of Glen-iti, has received letters from two soldiers at the front, in which they refer to the death in action of her son James. They state that her son's death was a great blow to all of them. In him they lost one of their bravest comrades, and he was a great favourite and never tired of doing anvone a good turn. One soldier writes as follows: I had known Jimmy since he joined us, and had always been good friends with him. In fact, all who know him thought highly of his admirable Qualities. We were within chain or so of our objective when Jimmy was hit. Up till then I. had been near him all the time. He had just preceded me out of the shellhole were in when he was caught by the machine gun fire. He fell back almost into my arms. You will perhaps be relieved to know that it was instantaneous. The next morning I and a few others brought his body in and gave it the burial that all our good fellows get, about a mile or so in front of the town. We of this company join in extending to you our heartfelt, sympathy in your sad loss.



External Links

Related Documents

Researched and Written by

Liz Shea (SC branch NZSG)

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB