More than 250 people joined us on 15 June 2019 to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the funeral of Sir Ross Smith at St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide – honouring this incredible South Australian and his epic flight. The poignant event, organised by RAAF Base Edinburgh and RAAF Association – SA Division ended with an unforgettable performance of the Last Post by bugler Isaac White. The Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority hosted a luncheon in honour of Sir Ross Smith after the service.

You can read the Sir Ross Smith Commemoration Service 2019 Main Address delivered by Senior Australian Defence Force Officer – South Australia, Air Commodore Phil Gordon.

You can also watch YouTube videos of:

Frank McCabe’s The Late Sir Ross Smith appeared in The Register newspaper shortly after Ross Smith’s death on the 14 April, 1922. It also appeared in the booklet for the unveiling of The Sir Ross Smith and Sir Keith Smith War Memorial at Adelaide Airport on 27 April 1958 by Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams.


And you are gone—Napoleon of the air,
Who swooped to home and fame in one great flight;
Who bridged the seas and dared the desert’s death,
Half a world crossed, and in the flight
’Gainst Nature’s laws and man’s indifference,
With courage common to Australian youth—resource,
Bush-born, and faith unshakeable,
In man’s power to do that of which he dreamed—
You faced the odds, and by the will to win,
Made hills of mountains, lakes of oceans vast;
Piloting your noble crew through trackless ways,
Till came the day this message thrilled the world—
“Ross Smith arrived”. A world’s heart beat fast;
Another milestone in its march was passed.

Thus in the march of man towards things that were
But dreams, Australia played a part, and but for Fate,
Which whirls men and things around, and in its freaks,
Respects not even him his fellows may deem great,
She would have in her son gained further fame;
But Fate has said—Did not that deed of his
Place him ’mong the supermen? The work he planned
Another brain and hand may execute. E én were it done
It were no more than his….To this we bow,
Yet softly falls the tear; we are but men, and
Childishly would claim him as our own when
He was all the worlds. And now, his race has run—
And mankind mourns a great and noble son.

Thanks to Steve Harrison for his assistance with many of the photographs.