Commander W.J.L. ‘Kiwi’ Smith had a distinguished naval career, serving in midget submarines during World War Two and eventually becoming the Head of Hydrographic Branch for the RNZN. His medals are on display in the museum.
In 1956, the RNZN was tasked with supporting the multi-national Commonwealth Trans–Antarctic Expedition (CTAE). HMNZS Endeavour 1 with William ‘Kiwi’ Smith as First Lieutenant, was commissioned as a supply ship and departed for Antarctica on
15 December 1956 carrying an expedition support team led by Sir Edmund Hillary. As well as transporting personnel, the RNZN assisted in the construction of Scott Base and supplying provisions for teams staying there.
The New Zealand Defence Force continues to provide personnel to assist with New Zealand’s scientific programme at Scott Base. In addition, HMNZS Wellington visited McMurdo Sound in 2011 during its patrol of New Zealand’s sub–Antarctic waters.
Donated by William .J.L. Smith.