Sapper Roy Archibald Smart

Pakenham & District War Memorial & Pakenham Upper Roll of Honour

Born: 5 November 1880 - Kew, Victoria

Enlisted: 22 September 1916 aged 35

Unit:  3rd Divisional Signal Company, 8th Reinforcement (SERN: 17050)

Served: Western Front

Died: 14 April 1952 - Mitcham, Victoria

Roy was the eldest son of Francis Smart, a partner in the leading Melbourne architecture firm Bates, Peebles and Smart (now Bates Smart), and his wife Eleanor Marion Pyne. Roy’s younger brother Ashley moved to Pakenham Upper in 1907, settling on a property called “Kinkora” on what is now Huxtable Rd (1). Interestingly, Ashley Smart had one of the first cars in Pakenham Upper - a Peugeot Type 163 (1a). As for Roy, he was a draughtsman and had something of a reputation as a cellist. He played at local Pakenham Upper events such as the annual new year’s concert; Red Cross fundraisers and the farewell for Privates Appleton and Copeland in 1915 (2).  Roy tried to enlist in 1915, but was rejected due to his teeth (3). He tried again successfully in September 1916 and was assigned to the 3rd Divisional Signal Company at the AIF Signal School, Seymour. Roy left Australia in January 1917 and after further training in England, was taken on strength with his unit in France in September 1917. Two months later, on 30 November 1917, Roy was wounded near Messines, sustaining a fracture in the back caused by a bursting shell (3a). He was invalided to the UK and operated on twice. It took some months for him to recover. Apparently, the main piece of metal was removed, but two other pieces remained, which caused him problems later on (3b). Roy remained in England for the rest of the War. In 1919, he was given three months educational leave in London to attend architecture school. Roy embarked for Australia in September 1919 and was discharged from the Army in December 1919 (4). In 1917, Roy’s service had been commemorated on the Pakenham Upper Roll of Honour, designed by his brother Charles, who took over the family’s interest in the architecture firm (5). 

 

In 1921, Roy married Euphemia (Dorothy) Keable of “The Angles”, Pakenham Upper (6). Dorothy was sister of George (“Sam”) Keable, who had also served in WWI. Roy worked as an architect with the Victorian Public Works Department from 1919 until 1943 (7), and was a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. By 1949, Roy and Dorothy were living at Yarrambat (8) and later moved to Mitcham (9). He died in 1952, with Dorothy describing Roy as a “most independent man” who never applied for a war pension or repatriation benefits (9). 

 

The assistance of Wally Nye and Rosemary Atkin is gratefully acknowledged. 

 

Sources:

(1) Pakenham Gazette 10/5/1963 p. 9

(1a) Information provided by Wally Nye

(2) Dandenong Advertiser 7/1/1915, p. 2 & 25/3/1915, p. 2.

(3) & (4) NAA B2455 SMART R P 

(3a) (3b) (7) & (9) NAA PP2/8 M32330 

(5) Pakenham Gazette 28/9/1917, p. 2

(6) The Argus 25/6/1921, p.13

(8) Ancestry.com.au - Electoral Roll - Deakin - Diamond Creek - 1949 p.53 

(9) PROV VPRS 7591/P2 Unit 1576 Item 453/233​

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