Ernest Frederick SCHENSCHER

Badge Number: S60355, Sub Branch: Karoonda

SCHENSCHER, Ernest Frederick

Service Number: 6823
Enlisted: 26 August 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Tathill Belt, South Australia, Australia, October 1891
Home Town: Saddleworth, Clare and Gilbert Valleys, South Australia
Schooling: Saddleworth Public School
Occupation: Teamster
Died: Natural causes (presumably), 28 April 1951, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Karoonda Cemetery
Cause of death unspecified, presumed to die of old age.
Memorials: Saddleworth Institute Roll of Honor WW1, Saddleworth Loyal Prince Alfred Lodge No 78 I.O.O.F. M.U. Roll of Honor, Saddleworth St. Aidans Church Roll of Honour, Saddleworth War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

26 Aug 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 6823, 10th Infantry Battalion
7 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 6823, 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, 6823, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
1 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 6823, 10th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres, Right eye
22 Apr 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 6823, 10th Infantry Battalion, German Spring Offensive 1918, SW Left thigh.
20 May 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, 6823, 10th Infantry Battalion, Returned to Australia

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

Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Early life

Ernest Frederick Schenscher was born on July 1891 in Tathill Belt to Sarah Schenscher along with his brothers Frederick John Schenscher and Herbert Alfred Schenscher and sister Helena. Not much is known about his father, however. Ernest spent most of his early life in Saddleworth. He and his brothers attended Saddleworth Public School. They would go on to become teamsters (cattle drivers).


Ernest was 25 years and a month old when he enlisted in the 10th Infantry Battalion on 26th August 1916. He had previously tried to join Air Adelaide but due to a heart problem he had, was declared ‘unfit’. He was persistent, however, and he successfully joined the AIF. He trained on the home front at Mitcham and travelled to Plymouth on the HMAT Afric, a ship that frequented the English Channel. He disembarked at Plymouth and from there, he travelled to France. He trained in England and also in Etaples, where he joined Base Depot, was struck off strength (removed from battalion) after almost 2 months and rejoined his battalion 3 days later.    


Ernest had won the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1914/15 Star Medal during his period of service. They were service medals, but what he did on the battlefield was worth so much more than simply serve. He served both in France and Brelgium. Ernest fought at Third Ypres and was wounded in the right eye on 1st October 1917. This wound took him to England for recovery. After returning to duty, he was wounded a second time, by shrapnel in the left thigh, on 22nd April 1918. He was again treated in England and returned to duty in October 1918, by which time the 10th Battalion was out of the line.


Ernest made an early return to Australia on 20th May 1919 on the HMAT Nestor due to ill health. Not much is known about his post-war life, but he died on April 28th, 1951 (by presumably natural causes).

How was the ANZAC spirit shown in this soldier?

The ANZAC spirit seemed to run in the family as Ernest had been wounded many times yet kept going back, his brother Frederick John Schenscher [PROFILE (/explore/people/106813)] had received a DCM and his other brother Herbert Alfred Schenscher [PROFILE (/explore/people/165741)] saved 2 wounded men from the battlefield with another soldier, under heavy fire. To have such persistence, bravery and sacrifice was truly ANZAC. There was a lot of tension during the war considering that both sides were in a stalemate and the political situation was getting worse, but this didn’t affect Ernest. He did not mind that Australia was fighting for the sake of being part of the British Empire. He carried out his duties like a loyal soldier would. Unlike most of his fellow soldiers, his spirits were not lowered by the cold, scarring nature of war, another true quality of ANZAC. He may not have received all the glory and praise his superiors were offered but he was definitely someone that Australia would proudly call its own.