John Roy Joseph Corfian ALIAS Frank Smith

First Name: 
Middle Name: 
Roy Joseph
Last Name: 
Mother's Name: 
Mary Corfian
Father's Name: 
Speer Nicholas Corfian
Date Enlisted: 
Thursday, June 7, 1917
Rank at Enlistment: 
Rank at Discharge: 
33rd Battalion
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Monday, April 1, 1918
Place of Death: 
Cause of Death: 
Killed in Action

John Corfian (Service No 3377) was born in Wollongong about 1901 and attended Unanderra Public School.

John was very keen to enlist, but he was under-age and his family did not support his wish to go to war.  The determined lad was not deterred, and against his family's wishes he went to Sydney and enlisted under the name of Frank Smith.

'Frank Smith' stated he was 19 years old and that his parents 'William' and 'Mary Smith' had given permission for him to enlist.

'Frank' embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A18 Port Melbourne on 16th July, 1917 with the 33rd Battalion, 7th Reinforcement.

John served on the Western Front.  On 30th March, 1918 he was wounded in action, sustaining a gun shot wound to the head. John was evacuated for treatment, but died of his wounds the next day.  John was buried on the day he died at Adelaide Cemetery Villers- Bretonneaux, France. He was just 17 years old.

In John's official documents, there is a letter to the AIF from his sister, Connie Corfian, dated 22 November, 1919, advising that:

"Frank Smith" is an assumed name ... The real name  of the soldier is John Corfian who, being a minor without the constent of his mother enlisted under the name of "Frank Smith". 

John is commemorated as J Corfian on the Unanderra School Roll of Honour.


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