A tribute to South Australian soldiers | Anzac Day 2019 | MAP

As the nations stops to reflect on Anzac Day, we take a look at servicemen and women from around SA, who bravely fought for our country.

Lest We Forget.

Mates through thick and thin

By Ian Smith

My dad, Dick Smith, and his mate, Roy Brown, first met each other as teenagers when they both acquired jobs with BHP at Iron Knob.

At the outbreak of the Second World War both Dick and Roy enlisted and were part of the forming of the 2/48th Battalion at the Wayville Showgrounds in July, 1940.

Following rudimentary training, they were shipped off to the Middle East, where they were sent to Palestine for further training in desert warfare.

The Battalion was then moved to Libya and, following the retreat from Benghazi, they arrived in Tobruk in early April, 1941.

This town was held courageously against all efforts by Rommel's Afrika Corps for seven long months when, after suffering 160 casualties, they were relieved and sent to Syria to train and rest.

Rommel was successful in taking Tobruk and then mounted a push into Egypt, where the 2/48th were again moved to engage with his forces in the Battle of El Alamein.

Luckily, the soldier Dad encountered was just as alarmed to see an Aussie soldier as Dad was to see a Japanese one, and the meeting took place without any casualties.

At precisely 21.40 hours on October 23, 1942, the largest artillery barrage in the history of mankind erupted.

Over 1000 guns opened up along a 64km front at the same time.

Dad told me many years later that this was truly the scariest night of his life.

At 22.00 hours, the general bombardment switched to precision targets in support of the advancing infantry.

Dick and Roy drove trucks, loaded with ammunition, 10km across the desert through enemy mine fields and unload their truck and be back behind their lines by day break.

Shortly after The Battle of El Alamein their Battalion was brought back to Australia then sent to the Atherton Tablelands for intensive jungle training in readiness for New Guinea.

On September 4, 1943, they were used in the Battle of Sattleberg.

During this time, Dad and Roy had been left to guard a food dump and thought they were in an area held by Allied troops - little did they know that the Japanese were so short of food, they had begun searching for anything to eat.

Luckily, the soldier Dad encountered was just as alarmed to see an Aussie soldier as Dad was to see a Japanese one, and the meeting took place without any casualties.

Dad and Roy both survived the rest of the war, returned to Whyalla and worked at BHP until their retirement.

We collected stories of our brave servicemen and women from across the state.

See where they come on our interactive map.

A tribute to our soldiers from across the state

Walter John Lang




Unit 2/43 Battalion 9 Division

Walter 'Wally' Lang was born in the Mid North town of Yongala.

Wally enlisted in World War II, on June 10, 1940, followed a week later by brother, Harley.

He served in North Africa and was a Rat of Tobruk.

Robert Henry Hull


Private Trooper

S 70698

3rd Light Horse

Robert Henry Hull saw active service in Palestine and surrounding areas.

He became dangerously ill and was hospitalised in Cairo.

Robert returned home as an invalid and he now rests in Poochera Cemetery.

Betsy Margaret Schild

Victor Harbor

Betsy Schild (nee Priester) enlisted in the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force in 1944.

After her basic training, she was posted in Port Melbourne. Her job as a store-woman saw her sorting and shipping supplies for the war effort and their trans-shipment to the RAAF squadrons overseas.

Betsy was demoblisied in 1946 and moved to Victor Harbor in 1999.

Horace Benjamin Martin



S.N. 2534

16th Battalion

Horace Benjamin Martin was enlisted in 1915.

He saw action at Gallipoli, Ponziers and the Somme in France.

Horace was the son of Ann and William Martin of Willowie. He died aged 80.

Robert Douglas-Hill

Kangaroo Island

Robert 'Bob' Douglas-Hill was called up for service at 18. He was a Flying Officer and Acting Squadron Leader, 11th Squadron RAAF, WWII South West Pacific, Catalinas.

He saw active service in the Philippines, Singapore, New Guinea and Darwin in defence surveillance and sea mine laying.

Bob met his wife Jeanne after the war and they had four children.

Eric Kidman


Sergeant Eric Kidman enlisted from Naracoorte and served with the 7th Australian Field Ambulance between 1915 - 1919.

He saw service in Gallipoli then in France and Belgium. He was wounded in action on two occasions and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field October 1917 Belgium.

He returned to Naracoorte after the war.

Maurice John 


Booleroo Centre

Leading Aircraftman, RAAF

26848 Unit 86 Kitty Hawk Fighter Squadron.

Maurice served from 1940 - 1945 in New Guinea and the South West Pacific area.

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This story SA soldiers tribute | Anzac Day 2019 first appeared on Barossa & Light Herald.