Henry ALDRIDGE

ALDRIDGE, Henry

Service Number: 4653
Enlisted: 18 February 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 21st Infantry Battalion
Born: Violet Town, Victoria, 1872
Home Town: Violet Town, Strathbogie, Victoria
Schooling: Violet Town State School
Occupation: Fetter
Died: Wangaratta, 1945, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Euroa Telegraph Park, Violet Town Honour Roll WW1, Violet Town Primary School Honour Roll, Violet Town St Dunstan's Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

18 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, 4653
4 Apr 1916: Involvement Private, 4653, 21st Infantry Battalion
4 Apr 1916: Embarked Private, 4653, 21st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Melbourne

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Biography

ALDRIDGE Henry 4653 PTE

21st Battalion

1872-1945

Henry was the eldest surviving son of George and Kate (née White) Aldridge; the first born Richard, only lived for one year. Following Henry there were five daughters and two sons who intermarried with Violet Town families, thus contributing to a solid foundation for the little town. In 1901 when he was 29 years old he married Eva Ellen Miles (1873-1964) lived in Violet Town and eventually had 10 children. The first half of the family was born in Violet Town, the four youngest children were born in Benalla.

In February 1916 when Henry was nearly 44 years old he enlisted. He had already done five years training with the Victorian Mounted Rifles. He was drafted into the 21st Battalion, 12th reinforcements.  On 4 April 1916 he embarked for overseas aboard HMAT Euripides. In September, after training in England he proceeded to the Western Front joining his Battalion serving around Mouquet Farm. In November he was hospitalised in France with myalgia and later moved to England, where he was declared unfit for active service.  In September 1917, after two weeks leave he was invalided home.

Henry was discharged in March 1918. He had worked as a fettler on the railways before the war and this is the job to which he returned, living in Benalla, Melbourne and then finally Wangaratta where he died in 1945 aged 73. There were 10 children in the family.

An obituary in the Benalla Ensign on Friday 21 September 1945 describes Henry as possessing a quiet and likeable disposition who made many friends who will regret to learn of his death.

Descending from his large family there are still two descendants living in the Nursing Home in Violet Town.  They are Kirby (Alan) Aldridge and his cousin Joan McDonald (née Footter)

Service Medals:  British War Medal, Victory Medal.

 
A memorial tree was planted in 1917.

On 25 may 2013 a Ceratonia siliqua – Carob Tree – was planted in McDiarmid’s Road by Joan Dean.

© 2015 Sheila Burnell

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