Albert William SANDFORD


SANDFORD, Albert William

Service Number: 738
Enlisted: 28 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Plympton, South Australia, 24 December 1889
Home Town: Edwardstown, Marion, South Australia
Schooling: Plympton Public School
Occupation: Farm labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Pozières, 25 July 1916, aged 26 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Arthurton Memorial Oval Gates, Arthurton WW1 Honour Roll Plaque, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Edwardstown District WW1 Roll of Honor, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

28 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 738, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 738, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 738, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 738, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
26 Apr 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 738, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, He received a shrapnel wound to the leg
18 Jul 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion
25 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 738, 10th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

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

Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

His story
On the morning of the 28th of August 1914, Albert signed up to the Australian Army at Morphettville. He signed up in South Australia and the battalion came into being on 17 August 1914 at the Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide. Drawing volunteers mainly from the local population as well as some from Broken Hill in outback New South Wales. It had been the first big war, and everyone was eager to fight and do their part for their country. Albert William Sandford was a 24-year-old farmer from Plympton South Australia who was 173 cms tall, weighed 63.4 kgs and had brown hair and brown eyes with medium skin (tanned). He lived in Edwardstown, Marion, South Australia, Australia and attended Plympton Bay Road Public School.
The war had been going on for exactly a month at the time of his signing up. It had been started by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg.  On 20 October, he and the rest of the original 10th battalion embarked on the ex-passenger liner, HMAT Ascanius, bound for the Middle East.
He took part in the Gallipoli landings and was wounded, probably on the first day. He was evacuated on the steamship A.I. Ionian to Alexandria, and returned to Gallipoli near the end of May. He was evauated again due to illness in September 1915 but rejoijed the battalion on 25 November. He received 48 hours Field Punishment 1 (b eing tied to a stationaru object) for insolence to a Warrant Officer on 24 March 1916.

He was stationed in Cairo until the 27th March 1916 where he joined the British Expeditionary Force and was then sent to Marseilles. On the 3rd of April 1916 (a week later), he disembarked the ship and arrived in Marseilles France. Within the next three months, he made his way to the battle of the Somme. The Battle of Pozières began with the capture of the village by the 1st Australian Division of the Reserve Army, the only British success in the Allied fiasco of 22/23 July, when a general attack combined with the French further south, degenerated into a series of separate attacks due to communication failures, supply failures, and poor weather. German bombardments and counter-attacks began on 23 July and continued until 7 August. It is believed that in this time Albert acted with great bravery for on the 18th of July 1916 he was promoted to Lance corporal.
Albert was killed in action on 25 July 1916 at Pozières. No body was found but he is listed on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (France).
The legend of the ANZACs
The legend of ANZAC was born on 25 April 1915 and was reaffirmed in eight months' fighting on Gallipoli. They displayed great courage, endurance, initiative, discipline, and mateship. Such qualities came to be seen as the ANZAC spirit. Many saw the ANZAC spirit as having been born of egalitarianism and mutual support. The ANZACs rejected unnecessary restrictions, possessed a sardonic sense of humour they proved themselves the equal of anyone on the battlefield. Australians still invoke the ANZAC spirit in times of conflict, danger, and hardship. The Symbol of the Anzacs is a symbol of hope, they fought for their country and in Alberts case gave their life for their country. They fought for their country and never gave up in the face of the enemy.
Albert showed bravery throughout the whole of his service and ended in making the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life fighting for Australia. He showed courage in the way he fought his disease; he showed such courage in his signing up. He laid his life down for his country which is the most courageous act you could ask for. He kept on fighting and stayed in the army despite multiple injuries and sickness. He fought for his country and in the end lost his life but there is no more that could have been asked, he went above and beyond and showed the qualities of a true ANZAC.


Item details for: B2455, SANDFORD ALBERT WILLIAM 2009, Australian Government national archives, Canberra, accessed 2 March 2019, <>.
Virtual war memorial 2018, Australian Government national archives, accessed 12 March 2019, <>.
Australian war memorial Search for a person 2018, Australian war memorial, Canberra, accessed 8 March 2019, <>.
Search for Name: Albert William Sandford 2018, AFI project, Canberra, accessed 9 March 2019, <>.
Find war dead 2015, Commonwealth war graves commission, Unknown, accessed 12 March 2019, <>.
National Library of Australia 2017, Trove, Unknown, accessed 12 March 2019, <>.
Private Albert William Sandford 2017, Australian war memorial, Australia, accessed 12 March 2019, <>.