Gallipoli – 95th Anniversary – 25 April 2010

Lone Pine Dawn Service

The Hon Alan Griffin MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

“Though Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (the man with the donkey) is best known, many other soldiers at Gallipoli acted with selfless devotion and duty to their fellows.

One such man was Private Edward Joseph Smalley, a stretcher bearer with D-Company, 3rd Battalion. He was from Sydney, 36 years old, a railway worker who was married with a young son.

His mates called him the ‘Gunga Din’ of the battalion, after the ever-present, tireless water-bearer in the Kipling poem of the same name.

The 3rd Battalion’s history described him:

He was unassuming – a square-faced, determined-looking chap, practically unknown outside his own company … He worked for weeks on the Peninsula as never a human being worked before. The cry of a wounded man would always bring Smalley to his side. The call for men for fatigue always found Smalley. His strength and energy were superhuman. Everyone admired and wondered at him. I saw him on many occasions going round quickly cleaning the rifles of the men who were sleeping, after coming off post. ‘What about a sleep yourself, Smalley?’ I used to ask him; but his only reply was, ‘I’m all right, sir, these poor fellows are tired’.

I remember him before the charge at Lone Pine, covered all over with field dressings, ‘to fix up some of the poor chaps,’ as he put it. He was hit in the stomach going over, and died almost immediately, saying only, ‘Leave me, leave me, I’m done’. And so passed one of the most self-sacrificing, noble, and courageous men who ever wore the Australian uniform.

Wren, E. Randwick to Hargicourt: History of the 3rd Battalion, AIF, Sydney, Ronald G. McDonald (1935)

Edward had been promoted to Lance Corporal for bravery in the field, but he died before the promotion was gazetted.

A notation on the service record of 975 Private Edward Joseph Smalley states tersely, ‘body not recovered’. Like so many of the missing, his name is among those listed on the Lone Pine Memorial.”


The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 April 1927, Page 8.