Oliver Henry Gordon ALCHIN

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ALCHIN, Oliver Henry Gordon

Service Number: 1611
Enlisted: 4 January 1916, Goulburn, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 55th Infantry Battalion
Born: Wagga, New South Wales, 21 December 1893
Home Town: Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
Schooling: South Wagga District School
Occupation: Labourer/Bricklayer
Died: Died of wounds (GSW), Belgium, 27 September 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

4 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Goulburn, New South Wales
14 Apr 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1611, 55th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Sydney
14 Apr 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1611, 55th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
27 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1611, 55th Infantry Battalion, Polygon Wood

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Biography

O.H.G. Alchin – Kangaroo

Gordon Alchin was the 9th child of George and Harriet Sarah (nee Nibbs) Alchin, born to them on 21 Dec 1893 at Wagga Wagga. He attended the South Wagga District School and after school was employed as a labourer and a bricklayer.

Private Oliver Henry Gordon Alchin enlisted when the Kangaroos reached Goulburn (#1611) marching on into Sydney before returning to Goulburn for training, and as with many other Kangaroos he sailed on the Ceramic in April 1916. He served in France in the 55th Battalion.

The Battle of Polygon Wood commenced on 26 September 1917, and many Kangaroos in the Fifth Division (53rd, 54th, 55th, and 56th Battalions) were to play a part. The Australians advanced through clouds of dust raised by shelling and outflanking many German machine gun posts before they realised what was happening. The German machine gunners resisted fiercely and the Australians incurred huge losses.

That day, Private Gordon Alchin was wounded by shrapnel in his back which penetrated his chest. He died of this wound the following day at the 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in Belgium. Private Alchin is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, France, Plot 24, Row D, Grave 20A.

1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

"ALCHIN.— Private Gordon Alchin, 55th Battalion, A.I .F., second youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Alchin, of Forsyth-strcet, Wagga, died of wounds in France on September 27, 1917; aged 23 years.

He Did His Best." - from the Wagga Daily Advertiser 13 Oct 1917 (nla.gov.au)

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