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Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

WW1 aviation talks at the Anzac Memorial

Where
Anzac Memorial
Anzac Memorial
Southern end of Hyde Park, Sydney NSW 2000
Auditorium
When

Saturday 18 May from 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Arrive from 1:15pm

Francis Ryan Smith, No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, his war service

by Alan Smith, his grandson

Alan will share family history anecdotes, describe Francis Smith’s wartime service and other aspects of his eventful life. He will display some interesting aircraft models as part of his presentation.

Francis Ryan Smith was born 23 July 1896, in Brisbane, Queensland. He worked as a clerk before joining the AIF on 20 July 1915, during the First World War. As an infantry officer, he served with distinction in the 31st Battalion, seeing action on the Western Front at Fromelles and then later around Armentieres in 1916, for which he was awarded the Military Cross, for bravery under fire. He transferred to the AFC for training, then joined No. 2 Squadron AFC as a pilot on 28 February 1918.

Piloting a RAF S.E.5a, he was credited with a total of 16 aerial victories, consisting of nine enemy aircraft sent down out of control, and seven others destroyed including one shared.

Smith became a Flight Lieutenant by mid-September 1918; he also became his squadron's leading ace. Additionally, he became the squadron's final casualty, being shot down on 10 November 1918. Although downed behind enemy lines, he evaded capture by donning civilian clothing and covering 40 miles back to his squadron mess. He found his squadron-mates celebrating the Armistice ending the war.

Alan Smith is a former Australian army officer with overseas operational service. He holds a private pilot’s licence and has a keen interest in military and defence studies. He is an executive committee member of the Royal United Service Institute of New South Wales.

‘Jim’ Goble, a uniquely Australian story

by Tom Lockley

Tom will speak on Australian ace Stanley ‘Jim’ Goble who flew with both the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force in World War One. Tom will also describe aspects of his pioneering 1924 round Australia survey flight and his post-war service in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Tom Lockley is a keen aviation historian with a deep interest in the men and flying machines of the First World War. Following a long career as a teacher and principal in NSW schools in NSW, he has volunteered in such places as the Centre for Egyptology, Macquarie University; the Australian Aviation Museum, Bankstown and Powerhouse Museum. He has written about aviation and other subjects and has maintained a strong interest in ancient history.

Event details

  • No cost, a gold coin raffle will operate to cover costs.

  • Arrive at the Auditorium from 1:15pm.

  • RSVP essential, to asww1ah.newsletter@gmail.com by 16 May 2024.

Contact event organiser

Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

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