Edwin August Christian BORGELT

Badge Number: S34, Sub Branch: Prospect

BORGELT , Edwin August Christian

Service Number: 2790
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 59th Infantry Battalion
Born: Nhill, Victoria, Australia, 17 September 1889
Home Town: Payneham, Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Payneham Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Gardener
Died: Adelaide, South Australia, 11 February 1934, aged 44 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Dudley Park Cemetery
South Australia
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World War 1 Service

21 Sep 1915: Involvement Private, SN 2790, 10th Infantry Battalion
21 Sep 1915: Embarked Private, SN 2790, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Adelaide
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Private, SN 2790, 59th Infantry Battalion

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Edwin August Christian Borgelt was born on the 17th of September 1889 in Nhill, Victoria, Australia. His parents, Henry and Augusta Borgelt, were his closest family members at the time and his mother is listed as being his next of kin. He grew up in Payneham, South Australian and went to Payneham Public School. He had brown eyes, brown hair and had a medium complexion. He was 5 feet and 6 inches tall and weight 134 pounds. His enlistment records document him as being Lutheran. Before enlisting in the army Edwin Borgelt was unmarried, a gardener and had no previous battle experience.

Edwin Borgelt enlisted on the 14th June 1915, at Keswick Army Barracks in South Australia at the age of 25. Before he enlisted into World War I he had never had any army experience before.  He embarked from Adelaide on board HMAT A15, Star Of England on the 21st September. He was taken to join the 10th Battalion in Moudros on the 25th November. This Battalion was raised early in the war. The 10th Battalion was heavily involved in the defending front line of the ANZAC position at the Battle of Somme. The Battalion joined the 9th, 11th and 12th Battalions to form the 3rd Brigade.  He was permanently transferred to the 50th Battalion in Alexandria on the 29th December, after an evacuation in Egypt.  Approximately half of the recruits from the 50th Battalion came from the 10th Battalion including Edwin Borgelt himself. The 50th Battalion was raised in Egypt on 26th February 1916. The Battalion joined the 13th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division.

On the 5th June Private Borgelt left from Alexandria traveling aboard the SS Arcadian, a passenger liner seconded to the British Navy, to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF)in Marseilles, France on 12th June. In the BEF each battalion would have two Vickers or Maxim machine guns. It is very likely that Private Borgelt would have carried a .303 Lee-Enfield rifle during battle.

On the 25th June Borgelt was wounded in action in Marseilles. He had a shell bomb wound to his back and was admitted to the 3rd Field Ambulance. He was sent to the Canadian hospital in Boulogne on the 28th June. He was then transferred to the London general hospital in Wandsworth on the 30th June. After some time recuperating, he then sailed overseas to France where he rejoined the Battalion on the 16th September.

Borgelt was wounded in action for the second time on the 2nd February 1917 in Flers. He had a gunshot wound to his left arm. He was transferred to Stationary Hospital in Rouen where his left arm was amputated.

Due to his amputation he was discharged to No 2 Command Depot Weymouth on the 10th July because he was medically unfit to fight in the war. He returned to Australia on board the HT “Demostenes” on the 27th of July. He was officially discharged on the 25th April 1918

On June 30th 1922 he received the 1914-1915 Star. He was rewarded this medal because of his work in the 10th Battalion.  He died on the 11th of February 1934 at the age of 44.

Edward Borgelt typified the ANZAC qualities in that, until he had enlisted, he was a young man who had not journeyed far from where he was born. We can’t know he motivation but we can assume from a combination of a sense of duty and sense of adventure, he enlisted to fight in a war on the other side of the world. Like many ANZACS he fought on the fields of France and even when wounded he bravely returned back to battle. He returned back home with a permanent injury as a reminder of his time in battle.