Frederick William WEIDENHOFER

Badge Number: 2949, Sub Branch: ST PETERS

WEIDENHOFER, Frederick William

Service Number: 30717
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Bombardier
Last Unit: 23rd Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade
Born: Woodside, South Australia , 12 June 1885
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Police Officer
Died: 5 May 1957, aged 71 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Acacia B, Path BO, Plot 688.
Memorials: Adelaide Grand Masonic Lodge WW1 Honour Board (2), Adelaide Treasurer and Chief Secretary Roll of Honour, Payneham District Council Roll of Honor, Thebarton S.A. Police Roll of Honor WW1
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World War 1 Service

23 Nov 1916: Involvement Driver, 30717, 23rd Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '4' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Hororata embarkation_ship_number: A20 public_note: ''
23 Nov 1916: Embarked Driver, 30717, 23rd Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade, HMAT Hororata, Melbourne
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Bombardier, 30717

Help us honour Frederick William Weidenhofer's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Paul Lemar

Frederick was the son of George WEIDENHOFER & Lydia Eliza JACOBS and was born on the 12th of June 1885 in Woodside.


Frederick was the seventh child born into the family of nine children.

With his older brothers, he would have helped his father on the farms at Woodside and Bow Hill before the family settled in Geranium, SA.


However, by 1910 Frederick had decided to break from the family tradition of farming, choosing to enter the Police Force of South Australia. In December 1910 he passed an education test, which enabled him to enrol in the Police Force on the 1st of January 1911, being allotted the identity number 162.

His terms of office were listed as:- Clerk and Bailiff of the local court, Registrar of Pensions and issuer of Licences.


Frederick’s first appointment was to Gawler for two years and in late 1913 he was transferred to Yeelanna on Eyre Peninsula for two years. From here, he spent only a few months at a small station at Millbrook. As a reservoir was about to be built here, the Police station was closed temporarily.

Frederick joined Gawler Rifle Club.

By this time, however, Frederick had decided to join the Australian Infantry Force on the 30th of December 1915.


He married Vetelia Fern WITHERS on the 21st of January 1916 in Glenelg. Vetelia was the youngest child of Thomas Edward WITHERS and Julia SUMMERTON and was born on the 15th of June 1891 in Gawler.


Frederick enlisted into the 23rd Howitzer Brigade, 8th Reinforcement on the 1st of February 1916 in Adelaide and was allotted the service number 30717.

Whilst at the Mitcham Camp, Frederick had his bicycle stolen.

They welcomed their first child into the family; Jean Vetelia, on the 2nd of September 1916 in North Adelaide.

Vetelia and little Jean lived with Frederick’s mother, Lydia, while he was serving overseas.


After further training in Maribyrnong, VIC, Frederick embarked on H.M.A.S. “Hororata” from Melbourne on the 23rd of November 1916, arriving in Plymouth on the 29th of January 1917.

The unit entrained at Larkhill before sailing from Southampton to France as part of the Second Division, Ammunition Column on the 8th of August 1917.

They were attached to the 3rd Division Artillery in Ravelsberg. They were involved with the battles of Broodseinde and Passchendaele in October 1917.

In 1918 they fought at the Somme.


Frederick was promoted from driver to acting Bombardier on the 8th of June 1918 and later to Bombardier.

He received the Meritorious Service Medal - “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This non commissioned officer has done excellent work and has at all times carried out his duties with keenness and a disregard for personal danger. He has set a splendid example to the other men of his unit”

(recorded in the Australian Commonwealth Gazette on the 3rd of June 1919).


Frederick returned to Australia on the 1st of July 1919 and was discharged on the 22nd of September.


Frederick returned to a wife and daughter whom he had not seen for three years.

He returned to the Police Force in September 1919 and was posted to country towns such as Port Elliot, Goolwa, Tanunda, Gumeracha and Loxton. Whilst based in Gumeracha he took charge of fire fighters during a bush fire in the summer of 1930. He was commended for his capable actions in bringing the fires under control. In these country towns, he enjoyed the transport which was provided – always a horse! He loved horses and was a very skilled horseman.


In 1933 Frederick was promoted to Sergeant and in 1936 began four years service at Murray Bridge.

They lived at Bridge Street, Murray Bridge.

It was whilst stationed here, that in 1940 the Commissioner of Police received a letter of complaint from a resident who thought it was inappropriate to have a Sergeant with a German name in charge of the local police station. The Commissioner replied that “Sergeant Weidenhofer had served with distinction in the First World War, and had proved himself to be an excellent member of the Police Force”.


Whilst in Murray Bridge, Vetelia organised a Debutantes’ Ball to raise funds for the Red Cross. She had a large picture frame, over 6 feet in height, erected on the stage and decorated with flowers. As each debutante and her escort stepped through the frame, they were presented to the Governor who had been invited to attend the occasion.


Also, while at Murray Bridge, they loved to visit the many Weidenhofer families at Ponde, where Frederick helped his brothers on their dairy farms and went fishing in the river. Jean enjoyed getting to know her many cousins, and tennis was a favourite activity.

Port Lincoln was Frederick’s last appointment and they lived in Liverpool Street, Pt Lincoln.


In June 1945, aged 60 years, Frederick retired from the Police Force.

They bought a house in Payneham, only one street away from Harcourt Road where Frederick’s parents had lived.


Frederick was a member of the St Peters RSL Sub Branch.


After twelve years of retirement, during which they enjoy three grandchildren, Frederick died on the 5th of May 1957 at the age of 72. He was buried at Centennial Park Cemetery; Acacia B, Path BO, Plot 688.


For the rest of her life, Vetelia lived with her daughter Jean and son in-law Robert until at the age of 95, she died in 1985 in Melbourne, VIC.


It was her wish to be buried with her husband, Frederick, in Centennial Park