05 September 2016

William 'Bill' Smith

There is no way to tell this story that does it justice given its complexity. The best way is just to copy in Anne's notes which also show the lengths we go to in order to locate a family.

William SMITH
WX482 period of service 7/11/1939 to 18/3/1940
WX7019 period of service 30/7/1940 to 7/11/194
Born 4/12/1911 Huntly Scotland
Died after 1971
NOK WX482 Bonner
NOK WX7019 Annie Roper
Father William Smith died 1912
Mother Georgina Fraser died 1915
Explaining William Smith’s Next-of-Kin
Annabella (known as Anna, Agnes) Bonner was related to Georgina Smith (mother of William Smith). Annabella Bonner had a child out of wedlock, also named Annabella. William Smith’s parents took Annabella in and raised her as their own child. Anna Bonner is thought to have married about times and one of her names was MacKinnon.
In 1925 Annabella Smith came to Australia on the Themistocles. She worked to save money so that more of her family could also come to Australia.
William Smith arrived in Australia in 1927 on the S S Bendigo, with him was another sister Christina Marybella Smith, Mrs Annabella Bonner and her two children, William Alexander and Esther Mackinnon. William Alexander MacKinnon’s next-of-kin on his WW2 record is Anna MacKinnon.
Records of William Smith on historical Electoral Rolls show that he lived with the Mackinnons, Anna Bonner and in 1963 with his sister Christina Marybella Skinner. So the names for next-of-kin on William Smith’s war records are Bonner – his aunt, then Annie Roper – adopted sister, cousin.
His sister Christina Marybella Skinner did not have any children, she married a widower who had one child.
James Albert and Annabella (Anne, Annie) Roper had two children, both still alive and in their 80s.

It is one of these children, Bert, who I spoke to tonight ans will send Bill's medals to. This is a fantastic piece of research by Anne.
One piece of information I came across was that Bill fought with the Italian Partisans and is mentioned at this link.
The returned medal tally is now 1914.

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