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Alan Smith was born in Newcastle and educated at The Armidale School and Newcastle Boy’s High School. He gained an Associate Diploma in Industrial Chemistry in 1952 and in 1982 he completed a Masters Degree from the University of Newcastle in commerce and economics. He joined the C M F in 1951 as a Recruit Gunner in R Battery, 21 Field Regiment, RAA in Newcastle and was commissioned in June 1954. He had regimental service with the Royal Artillery with SP regiments based in Bloomsbury, London and the Royal Canadian Artillery in Toronto, Ontario during 1954-55. He was promoted major with the Regiment but continued his military service with 2nd Battalion, RNSWR as Support Company commander.

After further training his military education led him into logistics staff appointments in HQs of Communication Zone and 8 Task Force. He was awarded the Efficiency Decoration in 1966 and retired in 1968. He was appointed to the Executive Staff of The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited in 1960 and occupied Personnel/Human Resource positions in Corporate, Steel and Wire Divisions in his 36 years service to 1992. His third ‘career’ is writing artillery history as Assistant Editor and now Editor of the Journal of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company, Cannonball.

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