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Smiley Family History

Henry Franklin Smiley 1897-1953

Family line:
Francis Smylie/Smiley 1689Hugh Smiley 1723William Smiley 1757Hugh Smiley 1785Shepherd Parkman Smiley 1828William Joseph Smiley 1863 → Henry Franklin Smiley 1897-1953.

Henry Franklin Smiley
Born: 1897, Midland Junction, Western Australia
Died: 28 November 1953, Mallacoota, Victoria, aged 56
Occupation: Turner, manager
Married: Vera Wainwright Jackson, 1926, Dowerin, WA
Children: 2

Henry Franklin Smiley was the fourth child of William Joseph and Catherine Darley (Bruce) Smiley, and was the couple's only child to survive into adulthood.

As a young man, Henry was an apprentice fitter with the WA Government. Being at Midland Junction suggests he was employed by the WA Government Railways which had a large workshop close to the family home.
Catherine Smiley letter
He was living at the family home in York Street, Midland Junction, with his widowed mother when he joined the Australian Imperial Force on 12 May 1915, at the age of 19. He was assigned to the 28th Battalion, 7th Brigade, and undertook Army training at Black Boy Hill Camp, near Perth.

Henry sailed from Fremantle on 29 June 1915 aboard the troopship Ascanius and in late 1915 was fighting in the campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He then saw service at Alexandria in Egypt before sailing to France and the Western Front.

He rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant and in September 1918 was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in the field. His citation read:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in action. When our barrage lifted, he jumped into the trench, well ahead of his platoon and single-handed captured six prisoners. He rapidly reorganised his platoon under heavy fire, and consolidated the captured position.

During his war service, he was twice wounded but returned safely to Australia on 13 April 1919.

The electoral roll of 1925 listed him as a fitter living at Midland Junction with his mother, Catherine. In the following year he married Vera Wainwright Jackson, a school teacher who had been born in Perth in 1900, the daughter of Frederick Arthur and Ada Louisa Jackson. The Jacksons were living at 43 John Street, Cottlesloe, prior to Vera's marriage.

The couple had two children and in 1936 Henry was listed as a manager and with Vera was living at 26 Campbell Street, Kalgoorlie.

On his 1953 death certificate, Henry was described as a business manager for Vacuum Oil Company. He died of an aneurysm at Mallacoota, Victoria and was buried at nearby Orbost the following day. He had lived 48 years in Western Australia, seven years in NSW and a year in Victoria.

Vera continued to live in Western Australia and died at Hollywood Hospital on 6 July 1977, at the age of 77.

Children of Henry and Vera (Jackson) Smiley


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