Topic: Henry Wilson (Tas) Smith

Topic type:

From research done in 2008 by Wairarapa College Year 12 history assignment on Wairarapa soldiers who died in World War One.

Full name: Henry Wilson Smith
Date of Birth: 9 April 1886
Serial number: 11/378
Occupation before enlistment:
First known rank: Lance Corporal
Embarkation date: 16 October 1914
Place of embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Body on embarkation: Main body
Embarkation unit: Wellington Mounted Rifles
Last unit served: Wellington Mounted Rifles
Rank last held: Sergeant
Place of death: Gallipoli, Turkey
Date of Death: 30 May 1915
Cause of death: Killed in action at ANZAC Cove
Cemetery name: Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey

Biographical notes:

Born in Featherston.

His nicknames include "Tas" and "Tassy"

Stowers, R. (2005). Bloody Gallipoli: the New Zealanders' story. Auckland, N.Z.: D. Bateman.:

page 102 "Sergeant McMillan, Corporal Christie, Trooper Rouse and others performed meritorious service in their efforts to throw back Turkish bombs before they exploded. One miscalculation could result in injury or death. Sergeant Smith had just thrown back one Turkish bomb and was reaching for a second when it exploded. He was badly wounded in the groin, stomach and legs and died an agonising death shortly after."

Page 361 "SMITH, Henry Wilson (Tassy or Tas); 11/378 Sgt (enlisted as Lance Corporal), 9 Wellington East Coast Squadron, Wellington Mounted Rifles; Main Body; Killed in Action 30.5.15 while defending No. 3 Outpost, aged 28yrs; Had just thrown back one Turkish bomb then reached for a second bomb which exploded. Was wounded in the groin and stomach, his legs were badly cut. Died in great pain shortly after; Born Featherston, Wairarapa 4.4.87; Educated Featherston, Carterton and Hastings; Next of kin Mother: Louise Emily Smith, 174 The Terrace, Wellington, also 38 Cornwall St, Masterton; Father: the late Frederick Charles Smith; For a short time employed by George Thomas & Co., auctioneers, Wellington; Well known sportsman: Boxer (won the heavyweight boxing championship in Egypt), Huntsman with the Masterton Hounds; Masterton Races Clerk; Lone Pine Memorial. (17)"

From a clipping from approx. June 1915 under the heading "AN OUTPOST AFFAIR. Dead and living heroes. (By Chaplain-Major Grant in the Poverty Bay Herald.)" there is a paragraph that says "Sergt. Smith, badly wounded with a bomb, sank into the trench, saying cheerily "They haven't done for me yet, boys; I'll be all right; but I think I'll have a sleep"; and he slept the last long sleep.


The Wairarapa Daily Times 16 June 1915, Roll of Honour column:

"Mastertonians killed. Sincere regret will be expressed at the announcement to-day that Sergeant H. W. ("Tas") Smith, and Troopers Rountree (Masterton), J. L. Grace (Carterton), and Lionel Hughes (Masterton) have been killed in action.

Sergeant Smith was very well known locally, especially in sporting circles. He was huntsman for the old Masterton hounds, clerk of the course at the Masterton Races, and a prominent boxer, as well as a very fine horseman. He recently won the heavy weight boxing championship of Egypt, and also competed at local tournaments. Deceased was a fine stamp of a man, who had a host of friends on account of his genial character, and by whom his death will be deeply mourned."

Student researcher: Charleen Verbeek



Henry Wilson (Tas) Smith

First Names:Henry Wilson
Last Name:Smith
Place of Birth:Featherston, Wairarapa, New Zealand