Errol Bathurst Smith saw just one month of active service on the Western Front. On 1 May 1918 he was in engaged near Villers-Bretonneux when he received a gunshot wound to the upper arm that fractured his humerus; four days later he died from his wounds.
Born in Carcoar in 1893, Errol was the youngest of four children born to stock inspector Philip Throsby Life Smith and his wife Mary Beatrice Sarah nee Martyn. His great grandfather was William Broughton, who came to Australia on the first fleet as a servant to Surgeon John White, and was later appointed storekeeper and acting deputy commissary at Norfolk Island.
When Errol was barely two years old his father passed away. Errol was educated at Carcoar Public School and as a young man entered employment with the Commercial Banking Company. At the time of his enlistment, in August 1917, he was employed in the Cooma branch; he had also worked at Walcha, Killarney and Gayndah, in Queensland.
Upon enlistment Errol nominated his mother, Mary, as his next of kin. She was living at Graceville in Lords Place, Orange, at the time.
On 31 October 1917 Private Smith embarked HMAT A14 Euripides in Sydney. He disembarked in Devonport on 26 December and was marched in to the 14th Training Battalion at Hurdcott. He arrived in Calais, France, on 1 April 1918 and was taken on strength with the 13th Battalion.
Errol received the fatal gunshot wound at about 2.30am on 1 May. He was transported to the 47th Casualty Clearing Station, where he later died. Errol was buried in the Crouy British Cemetery at Crouy-Somme-Sur by the CCS chaplain, who erected a cross bearing Errol’s name and regimental particulars.
Errol Bathurst Smith is commemorated on the former Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Head Office Honour Roll on the corner of Barrack and George Streets in Sydney and on panel number 70 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Errol’s older brother, Charles Throsby Smith also served in WWI; he returned to Australia in August 1919.
Errol’s second cousin was Major-General Sir William Throsby Bridges KCB, CMG, commander of the First Australian Division.