Charles Smith was the first of four children born to stock inspector Philip Throsby Life Smith and his wife Mary Beatrice Sarah nee Martyn. The couple had married in Carcoar in 1886, and this was Philip’s second marriage. The marriage only lasted nine years; Mary was widowed in 1895.
Charles was working as a farmer and grazier near Dripstone when he enlisted in Orange on 6 August 1917. His youngest brother, Errol Bathurst Smith, enlisted the same day; the brothers were issued sequential service numbers: 3715 and 3716.
Upon enlistment Charles nominated his mother, Mary, as his next of kin. She was living at Graceville in Lords Place, Orange, at the time.
Charles and Errol embarked together from Sydney on 31 October 1917, arriving in Devonport on 26 December. They proceeded to the 14th Training Battalion at Hurdcott to undertake further training before proceeding to France on 1 April 1918.
Charles was appointed acting Lance Corporal in December 1917 for a period of three months. He continued to serve overseas following armistice. On 21 April 1919 he was transferred from the 56th Battalion to the 4th Traffic Control Detachment, and in July embarked for return to Australia.
Charles disembarked in Sydney on 26 August 1919, and was discharged from the AIF on 18 September.
On 13 April 1925 Charles married Florence Emily Glyde at St Chad’s Church in Cremorne. The couple settled in Cremorne and had one daughter, Kathlyn. They remained in Cremorne for the remainder of their lives. Charles died suddenly on 26 June 1952, aged 64, and Florence on 20 March 1961.
Charles’ brother Errol Bathurst Smith did not survive the war; he died of wounds in France on 4 May 1918.