Badge Number: S23895, Sub Branch: Murray Bridge


Service Number: 663
Enlisted: 26 August 1914, Enlisted at Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Murray Bridge, South Australia, 16 July 1892
Home Town: Murray Bridge, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Mason
Died: Murray Bridge, South Australia, 22 September 1967, aged 75 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Murray Bridge (Adelaide Road) Cemetery, S.A.
West Path, joint plot 335
Memorials: Murray Bridge Roll of Honour WW1
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World War 1 Service

26 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 663, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlisted at Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, SN 663, 10th Infantry Battalion
20 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, SN 663, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
22 Jul 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, SN 663, 10th Infantry Battalion, Discharged 4th Military District, Keswick Barracks 22 July 1918

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

Biography contributed by Keith Harrison

Ernest John Shepherdson was born in Murray Bridge on the 16 July 1892. His parents, George Abraham Shepherdson and Elizabeth Shepherdson (nee Edwards), were first generation Australians. His father was born in Murray Bridge in c1860. His mother was born in East Wellington, South Australia on 25 August 1861. Ernest's maternal and paternal grandparents emigrated to South Australia from England. His paternal grandfather, George Ebenezer Shepherdson, was born in Yorkshire, England in c1824. He undertook the voyage to Australia at the age of 25, arriving at the Port Adelaide dock from London aboard the Marion on 10 February 1849. Although venturing out to the new colony unaccompanied, George would not have been alone in South Australia, as his paternal uncle, John Banks Shepherdson, and his uncle's immediate family had been resident in the colony since October 1837. Fourteen months after arriving in South Australia, George Ebenezer married Bridget Fitzgibbons on 13 April 1850 at Blakiston, South Australia. Ernest's maternal grandparents were James Edwards and Charlotte Elizabeth Kilner.

Ernest John Shepherdson was employed as a mason, when a headline appeared in the Express Newspaper on 6 August 1914 advising that Britain had declared war against Germany. He responded rapidly by enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force only twenty days later on the 26 August 1914, at the age of twenty-two.He enlisted for the duration of the war at the Morphettville military camp,South Australia. He arrived at the camp only one week after it had opened ready to accept recruits. He was appointed to the A Company of the 10th Infantry Battalion on 29 September 1914. On the 20 October 1914 he embarked on the Ascanius. The troop ship sailed to Western Australia before finally arriving six weeks later in Alexandria. Reference to his military records reveal that Ernest was involved in a significant number of campaigns throughout his military career and suffered several injuries requiring hospitalisation. Ernest was to serve in Gallipoli, Egypt, Pozieres, the Somme, Ypres and locations such as Menin Road, Polygon and Celtic Woods before finally being discharged from the Australian Imperial Force as "medically unfit (not due to misconduct)" on 22 July 1918. During the three years he had served overseas, he had been seriously wounded on five separate occasions, and promoted from a private, to temporary corporal and finally Sergeant. Ernest's life after his discharge from the AIF is not recorded to any significant extent.

As a result the research conducted was not successful in contributing significantly to the story of his life after the war and the impact that this global event had on his daily activities. He married Delia Veronica Nelson on 15 February 1919 at the age of 26. The marriage took place at the Most Holy Redeemer Church, Murray Bridge. He had four children, Bill, Bob, John and Cletus. Ernest remained in the Murray Bridge area, residing at 5 Eleanor Terrace, until his death on 22 September 1967 at the age of 75. His wife remained at the family home and died less than three years after Ernest on the 23 June 1970, at the age of 79. They are buried in a joint plot (335), in West Main Path, of the Murray Bridge Cemetery.

Courtesy of SA Historical Archaeology Database

Sons Bill and Bob served in the Second AIF. Bill was awarded the Military Medal for outstanding leadership and courage at El Alamein in July 1942.