Biography of Francis Noel Smith

Portrait of Francis Noel SmithSummary A biography of Francis Noel Smith, service no. C5472, one of six biographies of Canterbury veterans of World War II written by Kim Newth.

When Noel Smith joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) in 1939 at age 17, he had no boating or sailing experience. After completing a relief tour aboard an armed merchant cruiser in the Pacific, the young man set sail with the Second Echelon on the grand troopship Aquitania. As well as serving on patrol boats and coastal convoys, Noel went on to endure hazardous Arctic convoy work and a daring landing at the Port of Algiers that almost cost him his life.

Collection location Digital collection; private collection.

Publication information Published

Additional information

Kim Newth applied for and received the Canterbury History Foundation: 2014 Canterbury Community Historian Award after seeing the photographic record created by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers for their nationwide WWII Veterans Portrait Project. These portraits were gifted to the RSA and form an archive of images for veterans, families, communities and New Zealand's generations to come. With the award Kim Newth was able to add biographies to some of the portraits, to uncover stories behind the faces. Christchurch members of NZIPP helped put Kim in touch with some of the veterans they photographed.

The collection includes the biographies written by Kim Newth, interview files, and some images.

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This material has been supplied to Christchurch City Libraries by Kim Newth.