Our People in WAPeter Smith - Bunbury
When local man Peter Smith joined the Army in 2004, he expected to travel and he wasn’t wrong. He has deployed twice to East Timor, and he is now based in Kapooka in NSW, where he is a recruit instructor.
But now the former Bunbury Senior High School student and two other soldiers have been awarded a scholarship from the Chief of Army that will take them to Australia’s most iconic beach of all time.
Both Peter’s parents, now deceased, served in the Second World War, and Peter was keen to follow the family tradition.
“I specialised in air defence, but now I’m teaching new recruits their field-craft and marksmanship,” said the keen triathlete. “I still mountain-bike when I can, but learning to be a good instructor is taking up a lot of time.”
Now Peter has just been awarded a scholarship from the Chief of Army.
It means Peter will be leaving for Turkey on 13 April. On Anzac Day he will be at Gallipoli and taking part in the Australian and New Zealand memorial ceremony at Anzac Cove.
It’s not Peter’s first overseas deployment. In his first East Timor tour he was a rifleman, and then platoon signaller on the second.
“Gallipoli will be much more than just sight-seeing,” said Peter.
“The Chief of Army wants me to research the battle of Krithia, plus the death of John Simpson the donkey man, and General Birdwood, the commander at Lone Pine.
“Then I’ll be expected to give presentations on each one.
“On the day itself I’ll be part of the wreath-laying ceremony,” said Peter. “Then I’m reading the ode at the Lone Pine ceremony.“Every soldier would feel it’s an honour to be there, laying the wreath and reading the ode — and I’m no different. I’m sure I’ll be feeling it even more strongly on the day.”