Badge Number: 30048, Sub Branch: Adelaide


Service Numbers: 6724, S212069, V4875
Enlisted: 11 September 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Reception / Reinforcements / Personnel Depots
Born: Bacau, Romania, 18 June 1879
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Merchant Seaman/Publisher
Died: Natural causes, Sydney, New South Wales, 22 June 1953, aged 74 years
Cemetery: Rookwood Cemetery & Crematorium
Zone G Jewish 12 019
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World War 1 Service

11 Sep 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 6724, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 6724, 10th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Afric embarkation_ship_number: A19 public_note: ''
7 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 6724, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
8 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 6724, 10th Infantry Battalion, Raid on Celtic Wood, Shrapnel wound
30 Apr 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 6724, 10th Infantry Battalion, 2nd occasion
3 Mar 1919: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, AIF Headquarters
9 Oct 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, 6724, AIF Headquarters, Discharged abroad

World War 2 Service

27 Sep 1939: Enlisted Private, S212069, Adelaide, South Australia
27 Sep 1939: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, S212069
16 Nov 1939: Discharged Private, S212069, 4 Garrison Battalion (SA)
2 Aug 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, V4875
2 Aug 1940: Enlisted Private, V4875, Royal Park, Victoria
2 Dec 1940: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, V4875, Reception / Reinforcements / Personnel Depots

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

Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Raid on Celtic Wood - Survivor (Wounded)

Lionel Birnberg was a Romanian Merchant Seaman when he enlisted into the 22nd Reinforcements of the 10th Battalion on 11 September 1916.  He embarked for France on the HMAT Afric on 7 November 1916, aged 37 years, and joined the Battalion in the Field.

Listed on 13 October Field Return as wounded on 8 October (the return covers noon 8 to noon 9 so he is therefore deemed to be in the raiding party). Treated for Shrapnel Wound ('SW') at 3rd Field Ambulance then to 17th Casualty Clearing Station on 10 October. Evacuated to England he did not rejoin the Battalion until November 1917.

He was wounded again at Meteren in April 1918 and after discharge returned to his native Romania.

He subsequently returned to South Australia and wrote a number of boooks under the nome de plume of 'Mala', including 'Memoirs of a Vagabond', and 'Travel Experiences of an ex-AIF Globetrotter'.  He re-enlisted for service on the outbreak of WW2 in 1939, listing Sophie Coic as his next of kin.  By then 60 years old he was discharged by the end of 1939.

He died in Sydney and was laid to rest on 23 June 1953, by which time he was 74 years old.

Compiled from 'Raid on Celtic Wood' by Robert Kearney, OAM