Cecil Vaughan (Jim) BALCHIN

Badge Number: S2521, Sub Branch: Prospect

BALCHIN, Cecil Vaughan

Service Number: 10753
Enlisted: 1 September 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Driver
Last Unit: 5th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Kent Town, South Australia, Australia, 13 April 1893
Home Town: Kent Town, Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Linesman
Died: Natural causes, Springbank, South Australia, Australia, 4 May 1961, aged 68 years
Cemetery: Dudley Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Kingscote Kangaroo Island WW1 Roll of Honour, Norwood Primary School Honour Board, Penneshaw Kangaroo Island Men Roll of Honor WW1
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World War 1 Service

1 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
5 Jan 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, 10753, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
5 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, 10753, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Afric, Melbourne
13 Oct 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Driver, 10753, 5th Field Artillery Brigade

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Son of John BALCHIN and Harriet nee HARRIS

Biography contributed by Adelaide Botanic High School

Cecil Vaughan Balchin was born in Kent Town, Norwood, South Australia on the 13th of April 1893. He lived at 30 Rundle Street, Kent Town, South Australia  with his mother, Harriet Balchin and father, John James Balchin. He also had many siblings including Ethel Amy Balchin Gudge (1874-1948), John Balchin (1875-1875), James Leonard Harris Balchin (1879-1950), John Stanley Balchin (1881-1946), Olive Blanche Balchin Gunther (1885-1919), Stella Mildred Balchin (1888-1904) and Ruby Elma Balchin Cubitt (1890-1928) according to Find a Grave.

Before The Great War he worked as a linesman and enlisted at the age of 22 and 4 months on the 1st of September 1915. It is stated in his attestation paper that he was 5’9 and ¼ inches, he had a medium complexion and that his hair was dark. Without any previous affiliation with the military, he enlisted as a Private in the A.I.F. where he served the B Coy 2nd Depot from the 1st of September 1915 to the 15th before being moved to the A Coy 3rd Depot where he stayed from the 16th of November to the 31st of October. His nominated next of kin was firstly his mother but he later married in the UK in 1917 and his next of kin became his wife Irene who lived at 50 Machworth St, Bridgend in South Wales.

Balchin embarked on the HMAT Afric A19 from Melbourne to Egypt on the 5th of January 1916. In mid-February 1916 he was then Taken on Strength of 2nd DAC (Australian Divisional Ammunition Column). Balchin was then transferred to the 6th FAB (Field Artillery Brigade) where the brigade embarked to Alexandria, Egypt before embarking on the 17th of March to France on the HMT Arcadian.

After disembarking about a week later, he landed in Marseilles, where Balchin was made a driver another week later, on May the 1st. Within the next few days, he was then Taken on Strength of the 6th BAC (Brigade Ammunition Column) on and then the 2nd DAC. During this time from May through to November, his unit marched through France from Marseilles to Albert and later, Decaville (Deauville).

Not long after, Balchin was sent to the hospital with an unrecorded sickness while he was in France and a month later, he embarked on the hospital ship ‘Wandilla’ to go to England. He was then admitted to the 3rd Southern General Hospital 2 days later for a contused toe when they arrived at their destination. During this time off, Balchin got married to Irene Margret Stradling on the 9th of July 1917 before rejoining the 2nd DAC in England in mid-November.

A couple weeks later, within the same day, Balchin was first transferred to the 5th FAB and then Taken on Strength of the 13th Battery. The next few months went primarily undocumented and because of this, nothing is known from this point to when he returns to Australia on the 4th of July 1919. Balchin was then discharged on the 13th of October 1919. Later, he was awarded with a victory and British War medal in 1922 and 1921 respectively, as well as a star award in 1914/15.

Balchin passed away due to natural causes at the age of 68 on the 4th of May 1961 in Springbank, South Australia. His wife passed 10 years later at the age of 83, and they are now both buried at Dudley Park Cemetery, South Australia.