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RAMC profile of:
Alfred Percy SMITH M.B.
 
 


Place or Date
of Birth:

Service Number:

TF Number:

Rank: Capt

Unit: 32nd Field Ambulance

Attached To:

Enlistment Location:

Also Served:

Outcome: Killed in action

Date Died: 23/08/1915
Age Died: 25

Where Buried and/or Commemorated: Turkey - Helles Memorial

Awards:

Gazette Reference:
 


Other Information:

Alfred was educated at Birmingham University, qualifying M.B., Ch.B. on 23rd November 1914. He was an officer of the R.A.M.C., Special Reserve, and was attached to the 32nd Field Ambulance - arriving in Mudros on 6th August 1915. In official sources Alfred’s rank is given as a Captain, however all references to his death from men serving with the unit refer to him as being a Lieutenant. 32857 Sjt C Winter wrote: - “On the 17th Lt. Smith, whom we had left behind sick, rejoined the unit only that morning. He was immediately sent out in charge of a party of stretcher-bearers, about 24 strong. Not knowing of the withdrawal on the left flank and thinking the ground was still held by us, he landed the squads between the opposing trenches. Lt. Smith was killed....” In his book ‘At Suvla Bay’, John Hargrave wrote:- “Then came the disappearance of a certain section of our ambulance and the loss of an officer. This particular young lieutenant was left on Lemnos sick. He really was very sick indeed. He recovered to some extent of the fever, and joined us one day at Suvla. This was in the Old Dry Water-course period, when Hawk and I lived in the bush-grown ditch. Officers, N.C.O.'S, and men were tired out with overwork. This young officer came up to the Kapanja Sirt to take over the next spell of duty. I remember him now, pale and sickly, with the fever still hanging on him, and dark, sunken eyes. He spoke in a dull, lifeless way. ‘Do you think you'll be all right?’ asked the adjutant. ‘Yes, I think so,’ he answered. ‘Well, just stick here and send down the wounded as you find them. Don’t go any farther along; it’s too dangerous up there - you understand?’ ‘All right, sir.’ It was only a stroke of luck that I didn't stay with him and his stretcher squads.... Next day the news spread in that mysterious way which has always puzzled me. It spread as news does spread in the wild and desolate regions of the earth. ‘...lost...all the lot...’ ‘Who is?’ ‘Up there...Lieutenant S--- and the squads...’ The cook and an orderly man remained, and we heard from them the details of the mystery. Early that morning they had formed up, and gone off under Lieutenant S--- along the mule track overlooking the Gulf of Saros. That was all. There was still hope, of course...but there wasn’t a sign of them to be seen. The machine gun section had seen them pass right along. Some officers had warned them not to go up, but they went and they never came back..... We supposed that the young officer, coming fresh to the place, did not know where the British lines ended and the Turks’ began, and he marched his squads into that bit of No Man’s Land beyond the machine-gun near ‘Jefferson's Post,’ and was either shot or taken prisoner.” He was the son of William Alfred and Frances Oldbury Smith of 92 Gough Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Alfred’s family tried to locate him through the British Red Cross, therefore his name appears in the B.R.C.’s Supplementary Enquiry List for Wounded and Missing on 18th September 1915.


 
 
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