Edward Smart

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Edward Kenneth Smart
Nickname(s) Ken
Born 23 May 1891
Kew, Victoria
Died 1961 (1962) (aged 69)
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1910–1946
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Southern Command
Quartermaster General

First World War

Second World War
Awards Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
Other work Australian Consul-General, San Francisco (1946–1949)
Australian Consul-General, New York (1949–1954)
Group portrait of Siege Artillery Brigade officers (SAB), 1914, Melbourne. All of this group embarked on 17 July 1915 on HMAT Orsova (A67) from Melbourne, arriving England 25 August 1915.
Back row L-R:
Lt HDE Ralfe, Lt HC Bundock, Lt W Tomkinson, Lt Edward Kenneth Smart, Lt C Morris, Lt Basil Morris, Lt PW Dobson, Lt WW Whittle
Front row L-R:
Capt RW Cohiston-Walsh, Capt AW Bates, Maj FW Osborne, LtCol WA Coxen, Maj JH Hurst, Capt GStJF McDonald, Capt MD Williams

Lieutenant General Edward Kenneth Smart DSO, MC (23 May 1891 – 1961) was a career officer in the Australian Army, and subsequently a diplomat.

Early years[edit]

Ken Smart was born 23 May 1891 in Kew, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and was educated at Melbourne C.E.G.S (Church of England Grammar School). He was commissioned into the Corps of Australian Engineers as a Second Lieutenant on 18 July 1910. On 1 December 1910 he was promoted to Lieutenant with RAGA (Royal Australian Garrison Artillery), and by 1914 was an officer of the Siege Artillery Brigade (SAB) commanded by (then) Lt Col Walter Adams Coxen. On 12 June 1915 he married Phyllis E Robertson.[1]

First World War[edit]

Smart enlisted in the AIF on 21 May 1915, married on 12 June, and on 17 July the Siege Artillery Brigade embarked upon HMAT Orsova (A67) from Melbourne, arriving England 25 August 1915.[2]

He arrived in France on 2 March 1916, and saw action at Vimy Ridge in May before becoming involved in the Battle of the Somme from June 1916 to March 1917. In September 1916, during the course of heavy fighting in which he was wounded, his actions led to him being awarded the Military Cross. The citation reads:

Lt. Edward Kenneth Smart, R.-Arty.

For conspicuous gallantry in action. Although wounded, he observed throughout the day with great courage and skill, sending back valuable information. He has previously done fine work.


On 13 December 1916 he was appointed adjutant of the 36th Heavy Artillery Group (HAG) and promoted to the rank of captain. During 1917 he was placed in command of 39th Battery, 10th Aust FAB (Field Arty Bde), 4th Australian Division, and saw action in Messines (May–June), near Nieuport (July) and near Dixmude (October). In November 1917 he took a position in HQ 4 Div Artillery as a Brigade-Major Trainee, and in December he was mentioned in despatches.[5]

In April 1918 he took a position at HQ Australia Corps near Albert, and in June was promoted to Major (brevet), taking command of 110th Howitzer Battery, 10th Aust Field Arty Bde. Involved in heavy fighting in August and September, he was seriously wounded on 27 September 1918, and subsequently recommended for the Distinguished Service Order[6][7] and was again mentioned in despatches.

His World War I service resulted in nine entries in the Australian War Memorial's Honours and Awards database:

Awarded: Military Cross 14 November 1916 10th Australian Field Artillery Brigade (FAB)
Awarded: Mention in Despatches 28 December 1917 4th Div Art
Recommended: Brevet Major 7 May 1918[1] Royal Australian Garrison Artillery (RAGA)
Confirmation: Brevet Major 8 May 1918[2] RAGA
Recommended: Brevet Major 10 May 1918[3] RAGA
Recommended: Brevet Major 10 May 1918[4] RAGA
Recommended: Distinguished Service Order 31 January 1919[5] 10th Australian Field Artillery Brigade (FAB)
Awarded: Distinguished Service Order 3 June 1919 10th FAB
Awarded: Mention in Despatches 11 July 1919 10th FAB


After discharge from the AIF, he remained in the Army and from 31 May to 1 October 1919 attended Artillery College in England. He returned to Australia and, from 16 February to 10 September 1920, served as "OC No. 6 Coy RAGA 3 MD" – Officer Commanding No. 6 Company, Royal Australian Garrison Artillery, 3rd Military District (Victoria).[5]

He then returned to England until February 1925 where he served in a number of positions:[5]

What Started Ended
Gunnery staff Course England 11 September 1920 23 January 1922
Appointed to Staff Corps 1 October 1920
Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (brevet) and became a substantive member of Staff Corps 1 May 1921
Instructor at the Artillery School for Instructors, serving two periods as temporary Chief Instructor 24 January 1922 24 September 1923
CI Arty Schls of Instr (temp.) 1 August 1922 10 December 1922
CI Arty Schls of Instr (temp.) 21 August 1923 30 September 1923
Artillery College & Schools of Artillery England 9 October 1923 8 February 1925

On return to Australia, he served in a number of positions until January 1936:[5]

What Started Ended
SO "G" Bch AHQ (Army HQ Melb) 9 February 1925 31 March 1929
Comd Base Arty 3 DB (temp) l/4/1929 29 May 1931
SO Arty 3 DB 30 May 1931 28 February 1933
Instr 2 Svy Coy AGA (officiating) – 2 Survey Coy 1 June 1931 25 October 1931
AA & QMG (QuarterMaster General) & IGC 4 Div 1 October 1932 28 February 1933
DOS (Dir Ordnance Services) AHQ (Army HQ Melb) 1 March 1933 25 November 1935
(Subst) Staff Corps 1 July 1933 31 January 1934
(Subst) Staff Corps 1 February 1934

On 16 January 1936, he took up the position of Military Liaison Officer in the High Commissioner's Office in London, serving there until 25 August 1939, being promoted to Colonel (brevet) in July 1937.[5]

Second World War[edit]

On return to Australia, and the outbreak of the Second World War, on 13 October 1939 he was promoted to major general and appointed "QMG (3rd Mil Member) Mil Board AHQ" – QuarterMaster General, 3rd Military Member of the Military Board, Army HeadQuarters (Melbourne). On 24 October 1940 he was promoted to temporary Lieutenant General and appointed "GOC Southern Comd and Dist Officer Comd 3 MD" – General Officer Commanding, Southern Command, and District Officer Commanding the 3rd Military District (Victoria).[5]

In April 1942 he was made substantive Lieutenant General and was appointed Australian Military Representative in Washington D.C. (i.e. Head of the Australian Military Mission to the USA). In August 1942 he was appointed Australian Army Representative in London; as well as being Head of the Australian Military Mission to the UK, he was Australia's representative on the Imperial War Council.[8] He remained in this position until his discharge (in England) from the AIF, and retirement from the Australian Armed Forces, on 2 July 1946.[5][9]


From London he proceeded to San Francisco where he served as Australian Consul-General from 1946 to 1949,[10] and then to New York, where he continued to serve as Australian Consul-General, from 1946 until his retirement in 1954.[1]


He died in 1961.[11]


He married Phyllis E. Robertson, daughter of Lt Col J Robertson, on 12 June 1915. They had two children; a son and a daughter. Smart's recreations were walking and motoring, and his club was the Navy, Army and Air Force Club in Melbourne.[1]


Honours awarded to Ken Smart until 1920:

Also, Mentioned in Despatches: 28 December 1917 and 11 July 1919


  1. ^ a b c SMART, Lieut.-General Edward Kenneth, Who's Who in Australia, 1947, pg.764; Who's Who in Australia, 1957. Available on-line at ancestry.com
  2. ^ First World War Embarkation Roll, Australian War Memorial]
  3. ^ Military Cross, Supplement to the London Gazette, Issue 29824, 14 November 1916, pg.11075
  4. ^ Military Cross, It's an Honour
  5. ^ a b c d e f g LtGen K E Smart, The Army List of Officers of the Australian Military Forces (Melbourne: Australian Army). 1950. OCLC 220688670.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Distinguished Service Order, Supplement to the London Gazette, Issue 31370, 30 May 1919, pg.6822
  7. ^ DSO, It's an Honour
  8. ^ William C. Sylvan, John T. Greenwood, Francis G. Smith, Jr., Courtney H. Hodges (2008) Normandy to Victory: The War Diary of General Courtney H. Hodges and the First U.S. Army, University Press of Kentucky, ISBN 0-8131-2525-1, Pg.182: Wed 22 November 1944 – Smart: Australia’s representative to the Imperial War Council
  9. ^ WW2 Service Record, Department of Veterans Affairs
  10. ^ Guide to the San Francisco News, July 1946: New Consul General Edward Kenneth Smart of Australia
  11. ^ Biographical cuttings on Edward Kenneth Smart, Lieutenant-General, National Library of Australia
  12. ^ a b c d e Edward Kenneth Smart, The AIF Project – AUSTRALIAN ANZACS IN THE GREAT WAR 1914–1918, adfa.edu.au

Further reading[edit]