Archibald Balfour (Archie) LITSTER

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LITSTER, Archibald Balfour

Service Number: 288
Enlisted: 6 March 1916, Adelaide
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 5th Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Curramulka, South Australia, 5 October 1878
Home Town: Nundroo, South Australia
Schooling: Curramulka Public School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Gassed, France, 23 April 1918, aged 39 years
Cemetery: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen
Block P, Plot IX, Row D, Grave 8, St Sever Cemetery Extension, Haute-Normandie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Coorabie War Memorial, Coorabie and District WW1 Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

6 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 288, 8th Machine Gun Company, Adelaide
4 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 288, 8th Machine Gun Company
4 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 288, 8th Machine Gun Company, HMAT Port Lincoln, Melbourne
4 May 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 8th Machine Gun Company, For voyage only then reverted to Private
17 Apr 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 288, 5th Machine Gun Battalion
23 Apr 1918: Involvement Private, SN 288, 5th Machine Gun Battalion

OBITUARY from Trove

West Coast Sentinel (Streaky Bay, SA : 1912 - 1954), Saturday 11 May 1918, page 2

Our Yalata correspondant writes : —Gloom was cast over this district when news came from France that Private Archibald Balfour Litster, of Nundroo, had died of wounds received during the present great enemy offensive. Private Litster in the early stages of the war applied for active service, but was rejected.

In February, 1916, he again presented himself, and was accepted. He was sent to Egypt, and was there for eight months. He was then transferred to France, where he contracted trench feet, which laid him up for nearly 12 months in hospital.

Previous to the present offensive he was again put into the trenches, where on the 23rd of last month he received wounds that proved fatal.

Archie, as he was known to us, has lived in this district since his youth, growing into manhood. He was possessed of a personal charm of manner, with a manly and lovable disposition to all, a true sport in every sense, and could ill be spared. Archie was a favorite with all. His face wore always a genial smile, and the huge frame, with a height of 6ft. 6in., always assured you of a whole-hearted handshake from a true Scotch friend.

Private Litster's name shall never be forgotten in this district, and our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the sorrowing loved ones who mourn his loss. He died as he lived, nobly and honorably for his country.

Mrs Winter, of Nundroo, received a cable last week that her brother, Archie, of Bellwood, has died of wounds. He was well known on the Coast, and was a general favorite.

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Archibald Balfour LITSTER was born on 5th October, 1878 in Curramulka, South Australia

His parents were Alexander LITSTER and Euphemia MOYES -he was one of 12 known children

He had previous service for 3 years with the Fowlers Bay Rifle Club before he enlisted in Adelaide on 6th March, 1916 - he embarked with the 8th Machine Gun, Company, 3rd reinforcements on the HMAT Port Lincoln on 4th May, 1916 from Melbourne - he was made a Sergeant for the voyage only and reverted to Private on 21st June, 1916.

Archibald was wounded on 17th April, 1918 & taken to 55 field ambulance to the Casualty Clearing Station and then by 1st ambulance train to St Louis USA General Hospital where he died on 23rd April, 1918 of wounds due to being gassed - he is buried  in the St Sever Cemetery Extension in France & his name is memorialised on the Australian War Memorial and the Ceduna Honour Roll in South Australia

Inscription:

'HIS LIFE WAS GENTLE NATURE , MIGHT STAND UP AND SAY

TO ALL THE WORLD THIS WAS A MAN"

He served in Egypt, England & France and was awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal

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