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Vale WO1 Smith

6 January 2015

After being informed of his Australia Day honour, Mr Smith, also a former honorary RSM of the Royal Australian Regiment, kept it a secret.

It was not until his daughter, Kirsty Lanzilli, received a surprise phone call on January 26 that his family became aware of his honour for service to veterans and their families.

Mr Smith was pictured on the front page of the first issue of the Army newspaper as an unknown soldier in 1959 and appeared again on the front page in 1967. 

In 2009 he was interviewed for the 50th anniversary of the soldiers’ newspaper.

Mrs Lanzilli said it was fantastic her father received the OAM and she was glad he knew about the award before he died.

“Dad was very passionate about the work he did and worked tirelessly to help people,” Mrs Lanzilli said.

“He deserved the OAM. He was an incredible man.

“I didn’t know everything about the work my father did for veterans and their families until after he died. He was phenomenally secretive and did not big-note himself in any way.

“When he came to visit us it was to spend time with his family and grandchildren and he left the military side of his life outside.”

Mr Smith served with 3RAR in Malaya, 4RAR in Malaysia and Borneo, and with the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam.

He was a former RSM of the Adelaide University Regiment and a past president of the Keswick and Richmond RSL sub-branch. He was also involved in the formation of 4RAR Association.

Mr Smith’s funeral was held on January 14 in Pasadena, South Australia, and was attended by close to 400 mourners.

Last updated
5 December 2016
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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