News

Legendary tunneller remembered

Ron Smith will be remembering his dad, Thomas Henry Smith, during Anzac Day commemorations.
Ron Smith will be remembering his dad, Thomas Henry Smith, during Anzac Day commemorations. BRUCE THOMAS

RON Smith will never know the extent of the horrors his dad endured on the Western Front in World War I.

Ron, who lives at Bonville, says his father Thomas Henry – better known as Harry – never talked about the war.

“The reply would always be ‘you don’t want to know’,” said Ron, who turns 79 this year.

“And he never went to an Anzac Day march.”

Ron rarely misses Anzac Day commemorations, when his thoughts are firmly focused on his father and the sacrifices he and other young Aussies made for their country.

Sapper Thomas Henry Smith was one of the legendary Australian tunnellers at Belgium’s Hill 60, a famous battle which has now made it to the big screen.

His life started out in the blissful surrounds of Bowraville in 1888 and on reaching adulthood he was a labourer and roadmaker before he enlisted with the Australian Imperial Forces at the age of 26.

In March, 1916, he set sail for England where he was attached to the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company for duty to proceed to France.

In August that year he was hospitalised in France with mumps but rejoined his unit the following month.

In April, 1917, he was admitted to a rest station with kidney trouble and transferred to a war hospital in England with trench fever. He returned to active service in June but the following year he was again admitted to hospital in France with mustard gas poisoning and sent back to England.

He would return to duty but was again gassed on June 1, 1918. He was sent back to England and then home to Australia, arriving in May, 1919. Harry died in 1957 at the age of 68, a life well lived.

“He was a top bloke and he had a thing about food. The house was always full of food,” Ron said.

Ron was raised at Casino and was one of 15 children – his brothers Michael and Noel would go on to serve their nation in World War II. Michael fought in New Guinea and Noel was with the motor regiment which laid barbed wire on Boambee Beach.



Rising property prices kick market into gear

Coffs Harbour is one of NSW's growth areas.

Coffs Harbour's growth leads to rising property prices

A man of league and much more

SUPER COACH: For Barrett rugby League is a passion.

Community champion on the sidelines of local footy

Live music and entertainment

COUNTRY STYLE: Amber Lawrence and Catherine Britt will perform at the Sawtell RSL.

Country music to dance music, take your pick from what's on offer.

Local Partners

Nation's farmers to tour Northern Rivers jersey dairy farms

DAIRY farmers from across the country will flock to Lismore today for the four-day, annual Jersey Australia Conference.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Petula Clark delighted to sing live for Australian fans

STILL TOURING: English singer Petula Clark is coming to Queensland.

English star Petula Clark still puts on a great show, even at 84.

Do you really know your road rules?

Cars travel around the roundabout at Villiers and Fitzroy Street. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

List of the top 10 most misunderstood road rules in NSW.

Police confirm dead after explosions at Ariana Grande concert

An explosion has been reported at Manchester near an Ariana Grande concert.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

Cher, 71, and Celine Dion wow world at Billboard Awards

“I’m 71 yesterday and I can do a five-minute plank, OK.”

Judah's return to The Voice stage is a knockout

Judah Kelly performs during his knockout round on The Voice.

QUEENSLAND singer nails Adele hit.

WIN acquires rights to Southern Cross Media television

WIN network coverage

Changes to take effect at end of the month

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Close to everything, yet blissfully private

SNEAK PEEK: This private and elevated Coffs Harbour home is on the cover of this week's Real Estate Property Guide.

The Real Estate Property Guide is online now.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!