Frederick Morgan John CONNELL

CONNELL, Frederick Morgan John

Service Number: 4104
Enlisted: 18 August 1915, Toowoomba, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 25th Infantry Battalion
Born: St Lawrence, Queensland, Australia, 10 March 1891
Home Town: Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farm labourer
Died: Died of wounds, Pozières, France, 7 August 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Warwick Amateur Rugby League Footballers Honour Roll, Warwick War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

18 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 4104, 25th Infantry Battalion, Toowoomba, Queensland
28 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 4104, 25th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
28 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 4104, 25th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Commonwealth, Brisbane
7 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 4104, 25th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

Frederick Morgan Connell (1891 – 1916), By Tony Young

The Early Years - Collaroy, Marlborough & St Lawrence
During the closing decade of the 19th century, Fred & his younger brother Les (born 1891 and 1893 respectively) spent formative early childhood years in the then (and still) small Queensland central-coastal community of St Lawrence.

The Connell family moved to this small town in 1896 following the appointment of Morgan John Connell (Fred & Les’s father) to be the Post & Telegraph Master, at St Lawrence.

Prior to the St Lawrence appointment, Morgan Connell had been employed by the Queensland Postal Department for a number of years, and had been the senior telegraph line repairer in the nearby Collaroy & Marlborough areas immediately before his promotion to St Lawrence.

Interestingly, before the 1901 federation that amalgamated all the separate Australian colonies (later States) to form the Commonwealth of Australia, each Colony/State had its own Postal Department. Following the formation of the Commonwealth, each State’s separate Postal Department was absorbed into the then newly formed Australia Postmaster General’s (PMG) department.

The PMG was a department of the Australian federal government, created for the specific purpose of taking over all postal and telegraphy services in Australia from the states and administer them on a national basis.

The PMG was abolished in December 1975 and replaced by the Postal and Telecommunications Department. Two separate legal entities had been established in July 1975 to take over the department's operations: Telecom (which later became Telstra) and Australia Post.

At time of writing, a photograph has not been able to be located of the 1890’s St Lawrence Post & Telegraph (P&T) office building, however research shows that P&T offices constructed in small QLD towns around the same period, were all built to a very similar design.

These buildings were constructed of locally sourced timber, with a galvanised iron roof. The front portion of the building would have been for P&T business, while the rear of the building would have been where the P&T master and family, would have lived.

It would be fair to say that in the 1890’s St Lawrence was somewhat remote, for it was located over 800 kilometres north of Brisbane. At this time the railway only went as far north as Rockhampton, roads were primitive, motor vehicles were not yet in use, and coach travel could be both long & uncomfortable experiences.

Following is an extract from the 1st December 1896 edition of the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, detailing a coach accident, which involved the Connell family.

“A telegram from St Lawrence appeared in our issue of yesterday giving an account of an accident which happened to the Rockhampton Mail Coach at St Lawrence, through the horses taking fright at a cyclist.
The driver of the coach was Mr. Alfred Randall, and as soon as the horses shied he was pulled off his seat, and fell heavily to the ground.
The king-bolt of the coach also broke at the same time, leaving the horses to gallop off with the poke and front wheels, while the other part of the coach was overturned and all the occupants thrown out.
Mr. M.J. Connell, postmaster of St Lawrence, was seriously hurt, but Mrs Connell and her two children, and several other children who were also thrown out, all escaped without injury.
Randall was knocked insensible by his fall, but came to immediately after, although he appeared to be weaker.
Mr. James Gillespie, once a popular coach driver on the Emu Park Road, and also for five years the driver of the Mackay coach, was living at St Lawrence, and at the request of the shareholders of the Broadsound Carriage Company he readily consented to bring the coach onto Rockhampton, which he did without further trouble.”

St Lawrence was a port town, that exported wool, cattle & meat. The major boost to the town occurred in 1893 when a nearby large meatworks was constructed, which given that St Lawrence is located midway between the larger ports of Rockhampton and Mackay, it made a sensible alternative to export cattle from St Lawrence, rather than the relatively long droving runs which were required if cattle were to be shipped out from these larger ports.

By the time Les & Fred came to live in St Lawrence, it would have been a prosperous and bustling little “port-town”, no doubt with more than just a smidge of frontier character.

In addition to Fred & Les, Morgan Connell and his wife Mary Jane, had two other children, Eileen Mary (b. 1896), and Jack Lawrence Connell (b. 1898), but who sadly died the same year.

Due to both their parents having died before joining the AIF, on Fred & Les’s enlistment records, their sister Eileen is listed as their next-of-Kin.

Mary Jane Connell and the surviving Connell children (Fred, Les, Eileen) left St Lawrence for Brisbane soon after the 18th December 1898 death of Morgan John Connell, who at the time was just 31 years old.

The circumstances of Morgan Snr’s death are tragic, because it appears he took his own life by means of ingesting Carbolic Acid, which at the time was not an uncommon means of suicide.

It will likely never be known what might have led Morgan to this drastic action, however it can be speculated that possibly a combination of residue effects from his serious coach-crash injuries, and/or the very recent death of his 3 month old son (Jack Lawrence) sent him into a downward spiral of severe depression?

Brisbane, then to Warwick
Once again, little is known about Mary Jane Connell’s life in Brisbane after the move there with her three young Connell children, following the death of her husband.

What is known is that on 20th April 1905, Mary Jane died in Brisbane, aged just 37 years old, either during or shortly after undergoing gall-bladder surgery. At the time of their mother’s death, the respective ages of the Connell children were: Fred – 13, Les – 11, and Eileen – 7.

Following Mary’s death, Fred, Les & Eileen were taken-in and raised by their Uncle, Michael (Mick) Connell, who at that time, lived & worked in Warwick, for the QLD Postal Service.

Warwick was where, during the 1860’s, Mick Connell’s father, Peter Connell (together with his brother Simon) settled in Australia, having immigrated from Tullogower, Country Clare, in Ireland.

For the first 17 years of his 44 years of service with the Postal Service, Mick remained at the Warwick P&T Office.

And so it was that in 1906, Fred, Les & Aileen went to live in Warwick with their Uncle Mick, his wife Mary, and their own four (later five) children. However, their stay in Warwick was not to be for very long, because in 1907 Mick Connell was offered & accepted a promotion that involved moving the family to Brisbane.

It would appear that Fred (who would have now been 15 or 16 years old) chose not to accompany Uncle Mick’s family to Brisbane but instead went to live and work on a farm newly acquired by his Aunt Mary Dougall (nee’ Connell) and her husband Andrew Dougall. Mary Dougall was Mick Connell’s sister.

The Dougall farm was called Rocklyn, and was located near Gladfield, which is situated approximately 25 kilometers N-E of Warwick.

Local Warwick district newspaper reports from the period show that Fred was a sportsman of some note, receiving multiple mentions of involvement with athletic & rugby league football competitions.

Perhaps a strong motivator for Fred deciding to stay in the Warwick area, was that he wished to continue his association with the local sporting clubs & chums?

WW1 Military Service

Although a talented athlete (football & athletics), Fred Connell was a slightly built young man, being just 163cm tall, and weighing approximately 55 kilograms.

Other physical differences between Fred & his younger brother Les (tall, and 76Kg in weight) was that Fred had a fair complexion and blue eyes as opposed to Les being dark with grey eyes.

At the time of his enlistment, on 18th August 1915, Fred’s occupation was recorded as “Farm Labourer”, employed in the Dalby area.

One might wonder why Fred did not enlist a year earlier, when his younger brother Les did so in Brisbane.

The reason most likely will never be known, perhaps he had work commitments that prevented an earlier enlistment? Or, as many at the beginning of WW1 thought, the War would be over in a matter of months, possibly before Australian troops could even reach Europe.

What is known is that by August 1915, Australian troops had been involved in heavy fighting for four months on the Gallipoli peninsular, and the casualty lists from Gallipoli that were being published in Australia, would have come as a shock to most.

Rather than create pessimism, the high casualty figures of the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli elicited a huge wave of patriotism throughout Australia, which saw many volunteer for military service “to help out their pals”.

28th March 1916 - After months of training in Australia, Fred departed from Brisbane with the “10th Reinforcements” for the 25th Australian Infantry Battalion, aboard the troopship HMAT A73 - S.S Commonwealth 6,616 ton, 14 knots), bound for the Suez Canal.

After arriving at Port Said, the troops were moved by railway 75 kilometres south to Tel el Kebir, which was a training centre for AIF reinforcements.

After about three weeks at Tel El Kabir, the 10th Reinforcements went by train back to Port Said, embarked on another ship, and on the 5th June 1916, disembarked at the French Mediterranean port of Marseilles.

06th June 1916 - The next day, the 10th reinforcements boarded yet another ship, which took them out of the Mediterranean and up the English Channel, to the north-western French port of ETAPLES, where according to Fred’s diary, he and a number of others were placed in isolation for a week. Presumably as a precaution against the spread of possible illness or disease.

ETAPLES, was connected to the network of railways that crossed over northern France, and because of this, it was a strategically important base for the British Expeditionary Force (which included the AIF), and used as a depôt and transit camp for troops.

Author’s Note
The following notes are a combination of transcriptions from the 25th Battalion Official War Diary, and entries in Fred’s personal diary.

4.3 Marches-In to the 25th Bn
15th July 1916 - Battalion War Diary: Bn in billet at VAUX, training for offensive on SOMME. Fred’s Diary: “Landed at billets on the 15th. Had a route march of 8 miles (13 km), got transferred into machinegun on the 16th. Got a letter from Les on the 17th, answered by couldn’t post it. First time Dud and I were apart since we joined the army. Met ???? ????”.

Author’s Note
Route marches were a common method of keeping troops fit, when not in the front-line. For the next four days, men of the battalion underwent rigorous training, in preparation for the upcoming POZIERS offensive. It is possible that the Dud referred to in Fred’s diary was a Robert Dudley Alford, who eventually rose to the rank of Sergeant, and was killed-in-action 2nd September 1918.

As mentioned above, on 16th July Fred was transferred to a machinegun section. A more accurate description is that he was transferred into a Lewis Machinegun Section.

The Lewis Machinegun was commonly referred to simply as a Lewis Gun.

After Gallipoli, each Battalion was given a number of new light machine-guns, known as Lewis guns. They had to learn how to operate, employ and exploit these new weapons. New tactics had to be learned, new organisational structures created (Lewis gun sections were quite different from any that had existed on Gallipoli) and new specialists trained. The Lewis gun was a prime cause of a fundamental rethink of infantry minor tactics.

Each Lewis Gun was operated by a team of seven. The “First Gunner” carried & fired the weapon, while the “Second Gunner” carried a bag containing spare parts, assisted the first-gunner with changing pans, and acted as a look-out for the first-gunner.

The remaining five members of the team carried loaded pans of ammunition'. All were trained to fire the gun if required, and all could affect repairs in seconds'.

Having only just joined the battalion, Fred would have most likely been made one of the five, spare ammunition drum carriers.

There were inherent dangers being a member of a Lewis Gun section, for they would have always had to be near the action, and were considered priority targets by the enemy.

When going into action, the spare Lewis Gun ammunition would have been carried in addition to all the normal gear that a 25th Bn soldier would had had to carry, eg: rifle, bayonet, spare rifle ammunition, water, helmet, gas mask, grenades etc.

20th July 1916 - Battalion War Diary: - Battalion left VAUX at 9am for HERISSART, arriving at billet at 3:30pm. Fred’s Diary: “never so near done-in all my life, had no bread, only biscuits, but got a loaf of a Tommie, and had a good tea”.

Author’s Note
The battalion marched 10 miles to HERISSART. Perhaps it was a combination of having little to eat that morning, together with the weight of the 4 to 8 spare Lewis Gun ammunition pans (14.5 - 29kg) that he would now be carrying in addition to his rifle and all other normal kit, that was the cause of Fred’s fatigue that day?

22nd July 1914 - Battalion War Diary: - Orders from Brigade at 7:15pm to leave HERISSART at 8pm for WARLOY. Battalion assembled and moved-off at 8pm complete without a man missing. Arrived at billet WARLOY at 12-midnight. Fred’s diary : “Stopped here two days. Got half an hours notice to pack-up on the 22nd. Left at 7:00 O’clock that night and arrived at another village at 12:00, we could hear the guns and see the flares coming along”.

25th July 1916 - Battalion War Diary: In billet WARLOY, training continued. Fred’s diary: “Went to machine gun section, Went out on range for machinegun practice. We fell-in at 2 o’clock got our guns and are now waiting on word to move. There are hundreds of wounded coming in today. We are five miles (sic: 8km) from the fighting”.

Author’s Note
WARLOY was at this time, where the Australian 4th Field Ambulance had their Main Dressing Station, and so it was probably there that all the wounded were being taken.

26th July 1916 - Battalion War Diary: 5pm orders received from Brigade that Bn will move from WARLOY to ALBERT at 6pm. Arrived at BRICKFIELDS on outskirts of ALBERT at 9:30pm and bivouacked. Fred’s diary: “Got word to move, Went for a bath. Marched to ALBERT and camped for the night”.

27th July 1916 - Battalion War Diary: Left bivouac at 5.45pm for TARA HILL in the rear of the firing line, and bivouacked in the open. Fred’s Diary: “Got our steel helmets. The Germans dropped a few shells in the town. Here we are to move up to the firing line tonight. We got a very strong position to take. We advanced to the ?????? line of defence. Camped on the ridge. Could see the battle going on, and saw a plane flight”.

Author’s Note
On 28th July 1916, the 25th Battalion began their involvement in the Battle of the SOMME at POZIERS, and late on August 6th Fred was mortally wounded.

Before continuing with extracts from the 25th Battalion War Diary & Fred’s personal diary, so that the reader might gain greater appreciation of what Fred experienced, below is an overview of the 25th Battalions involvement in the Battle, plus some other witness accounts.

The Battle of the Somme began in early July 1916. In mid-July the heavily defended French village of Pozières and its surrounding ridgeline was invested by artillery and infantry divisions.

The village was captured by the 1st Australian Division on July 23rd. The 1st A.I.F clung to small territorial gains despite almost continuous artillery fire and repeated German counter-attacks.

The 1st Australian Division, was relieved by the 2nd Aust. Division (Fred’s Division) on the 27th July having suffered 5,285 casualties.

The 25th Battalion’s first action in France came at Poziers on 28/29th July 1916 where the battalion suffered heavily during a night-time attack on the heights held by the Germans in the OG1 (Old German) and OG2 trenches, losing 12 officers and 350 other ranks killed or wounded.

Many of the casualties were the result of men being caught in thick wire obstacles laid by the Germans, that had been left intact by the pre-attack British artillery bombardment.

A follow up attack on 4th August added more casualties, bringing the total loss for the 25th in its first battle on the Western Front, to 785. As the normal compliment for an AIF Infantry Battalion in France ranged from 900 to 1000 men, the 785 casualties represents a shattering casualty rate of 78.5%.

The Australian official historian Charles Bean, wrote that Pozières ridge “is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth.” In his diary on the 29th July 1916 he wrote: “Pozières has been a terrible sight all day … The men were simply turned in there as into some ghastly giant mincing machine. They have to stay there while shell after huge shell descends with a shriek close beside them … each shrieking tearing crash bringing a promise to each man – instantaneous – I will tear you into ghastly wounds – I will rend your flesh and pulp an arm or a leg – fling you half a gaping quivering man (like those that you see smashed around you one by one) to lie there rotting and blackening like all the things you saw by the awful roadside, or in that sickening dusty crater.”

Lieutenant John Raws of 23rd Battalion who was in the thick of the fighting at Poziers wrote the following, on the 4th August 1916:
“One feels that on a Battlefield such as this one can never survive, or that if the body lives, the brain must go forever. For the horrors one sees and the never-ending shock of the shells is more than can be borne. Hell must be a home to it.

My battalion has been in it for eight days, and one third of it is left – all shattered at that. And they’re sticking it in. Incomparable heroes all.

We are lousy, stinking, ragged, unshaven and sleepless. Even when we’re back a bit we can’t sleep for our own guns.

I have one puttee, a dead man’s helmet, another dead man’s gas protector, a dead man’s bayonet. My tunic is rotten with other men’s blood, and partly splattered with a comrade’s brains. It is horrible, but why should you people at home not know?

Several of my friends are raving mad. I met three officers out in No Man’s Land the other night, all rambling and mad. Poor Devils!’

Into Battle – Pozières
28/29th July 1916 - 25th Battalion War Diary: “CO and Unit Commanders visit front-line trenches in the morning, returning at 2:30pm. 7th Brigade ordered to make night attack on enemy positions opposite POZIERS. Battalion left TARA HILL at 7.30pm and got into position at jumping-off point at five minutes to twelve. Attack timed to start at 12 midnight 28th/29th 25th Battalions allotted centre sector. Attack preceded by heavy bombardment from our artillery. Objectives enemy trenches OG1 (Sic: Old German-1) and OG2 on POZIERS RIDGE. The attack was launched at 12 midnight. The Bn was sent over in five waves. The lines moved up towards enemy position in splendid order. Right Company (A) encountered heavy machine-gun fire…???...and had considerable difficulties with wire in front of first objective. The other three Companies had no difficulty with enemy first line. They found no wire and no enemy machine-gun fire from first line. Enemy first line not ??? ?? ????. The third & fourth waves passed over first objective and moved second objective. As soon as first objective was left we were met with heavy machine-gun fire from enemy around line trench which caused us fairly heavy casualties. The enemy also opened heavy artillery fire and trench mortar bombs on first objective, causing a number of casualties. On our reaching the second objective we found the wire had not been well cut from previous artillery preparation and owing to our losses the Companies were not sufficiently strong to force the second objective. Several men tried to cut their way through the enemy wire but were mown down by enemy machine-guns. Lieutenants’ V.J. Warry and JL. Smith showed great courage in rallying their men in front of the enemy wire. A small party of men from ‘C’ Company actually entered the enemy second line (2nd objective) through gaps that had been cut in the wire. On hearing that the rest of the line had not entered, they withdrew suffering a number of casualties. The second objective was strongly held by the enemy and well manned by machine-guns. As it was impossible from the state of the enemy wire to enter the second objective, and owing to the number of casualties the order was given to fall back on the first objective. On withdrawing to the first objective and owing to the heavy casualties suffered and there not being sufficient men left to hold the first objective the order was given to withdraw to our own lines. So far as is known the enemy casualties opposite our sector are as follows…..2 officers killed and about 40 other ranks. This does not include enemy casualties in second objective from our shell-fire.
Our casualties are as follows.
Killed: - Lt VJ Warry, 2nd Lt JM Brown, TJ Carey and JT Hockin. Other Ranks 28.
Wounded: - Capt. JE Nix, WF Donisch, CM Johnson. Other Ranks 129.
Missing: - 2nd Lt JL Smith, L. Teitwell, A. McIntyre, O’Hea. Other Ranks 175.
The remainder of the battalion returned to bivouac at TARA HILL.

Fred’s Diary: “The bombardment has begun again and we expect to be there tonight. Cleaning our rifles now, and machine-guns. We left here to make a charge and walked about 2 miles (3Km).

The shrapnel was bursting all around us when we go down to our first trench, we got over it and into no-mans’ land and Fritzy (Germans) started to put his machine-guns on us.

We were lost, didn’t know where to go. The place was full of shell holes.

29th July 1916 - Fred’s Diary: “The charge was made at 12 O’clock, and at daylight we returned after losing half our battalion. The wounded were laying all over the ground. We all got back done-in. Last night (29th) there was another bombardment”………..“We slept all day, we were all tired out.”

30th July 1916 - Battalion War Diary: 2nd in Command and officers from each company toured first-line trenches for the purpose of taking observations of enemy positions. Fred’s Diary: “Today is Sunday and we are expecting to go into it again tonight but we didn’t, General Birdwood spoke to us.”

31st July 1916 - Battalion War Diary: Bivouacked on TARA HILL and men used as fatigue & carrying parties to front-lines. At night a patrol with Lt Corey ???? No-Mans Land. Fred’s Diary: “Nothing much doing. A lot of our fellows were up on fatigue.”

1st August 1916 - Battalion War Diary: Battalion in reserve at TARA HILL. Reorganizing after attack 28/29 July 1916. Fred’s Diary: “The day that Germany was going to surprise the world, but it never came off.”

2nd August 1916 - Battalion War Diary: TARA HILL near ALBERT. Received 161 other-ranks from reinforcements. Fred’s Diary: “Nothing much doing, only word that we might go in again. Big bombardment tonight.”

3rd August 1916 - Battalion War Diary: Orders received at 10.00am from Brigade to move up to POZIERS and relieve the 19th Battalion for purpose of digging jumping-off trench from R34 d6.2 to BAPAUME ROAD – relief completed at 10pm. Work was commenced at 11pm on digging jumping-off trench, also improving fire-trench and deepening & widening communication trench to jumping-off trench. Jumping-off trench was dug for length of 750 yards, and 4 feet-6inches to 5 feet deep. ????? +6 feet on night. Operation very difficult owing to heavy shelling by enemy. Work supervised by 2/Lt Stuart, 2/Lt Healy, Capt. Webb, R.E. (sic: Royal Engineers) 7th Company, and myself. Men worked splendidly and what was really a full days’ work, completed in 3-4 hours. Casualties sustained:- 13 killed, 2 officers and 42 other-ranks wounded, 2 officers and 15 men injured due to fall of earth and shell-shock. Enemy shelling continued all night. Fred’s Diary: “We got a lot of reinforcements with us that came from ETAPLES.”

4th August 1916 - Battalion War Diary: At POZIERS. Enemy shelling very heavy all day. At 11am orders received from Brigade HQ to attack & capture POZIERS RIDGE, 27th Battalion on our Right, 26th battalion on our Left……8:10pm, our artillery heavily bombarded enemy trenches OG1 + OG2 until 9:10pm. 9:10-9:15pm silence.
9:15pm……ZERO TIME. A-company Right, D-company Left formed-up in new jumping-off trench, and B-company Right, C-company Left formed-up in TRAMWAY TRENCH, and formed 3rd + 4th waves. At 9:15pm our artillery opened an intense bombardment on OG1 + OG2 lasting 3 minutes, during which time waves moved forward as far as possible, with 50 paces distance.
+3…… (e.g.: 3 minutes after Zero Time, which means the start time of the attack) the barrage lifted 50 yards. Our 1st & 2nd waves rushed forward and captured OG1 with little resistance.
+5…….barrage lifted another 50 yards, and our 3rd & 4th waves passed through OG1, making for OG2.
+10…..barrage lifted a further 50 yards, and 3rd wave, followed by 4th wave, rushed forward and captured OG2.
Enemy barrage between OG1 and battalion HQ was terrific.
Immediately on capture of the objectives work of consolidating was commenced under great difficulties. Enemy shelled both OG1+OG2 with all calibre shells, a large proportion being 9.2 inch (sic: approx. 230mm). Many attempts were made to get RE (Royal Engineers) stores to captured lines, but with very little success, as owing to the terrific shelling by the enemy, it was practically impossible to get supplies forward of Battalion HQ. At 4am enemy lodged a counter attack against OG2 but was easily repulsed with heavy losses by (sic: from) our machine-gun and rifle fire.
Fred’s Diary: “The Germans dropped a few shells very close to us and we had to take shelter in a trench ????? (dugout?. Have not had any mail since we joined the battalion, but expect some tonight. ???? Douglas is missing .”

- Author’s Note -
The 4th August entry was the last that Fred made in his diary. He survived the successful 4th/5th August attack on POZIERS RIDGE without injury, but was mortally wounded by enemy artillery fire on the evening of 6th August, the day after the 25th battalion had been relieved from the front-line, and had moved back to TARA HILL, via SAUSAGE GULLY.

5th August 1916 - Battalion War Diary: I watched the process of the attack made on previous night and it was carried out like a drill movement, and much praise must be given to the officers leading the men. At 5am I was at OG2 where men were working very hard consolidating the position headless of heavy enemy fire, which at this time was terrific. We held the position until 6pm, when we were relieved by the 28th battalion, with exception of a small party under 2/Lt Healy who were not relieved until early on 6/8/16.
Our casualties were:
24 Other Ranks killed
9 Officers & 126 Other Ranks wounded
1 Officer and 178 Other Ranks missing
Enemy casualties were very heavy, majority being bayoneted by our men. About 50 prisoners were captured by men of this Battalion.
The two lines captured thus brought POZIERS RIDGE into possession of the British.
On being relieved the Battalion moved to SAUSAGE GULLY.
10PM – Enemy shelling SAUSAGE GULLY.

6th August 1916 - Battalion War Diary: Moved to TARA HILL. One Officer and 44 Other Ranks joined the Battalion from reinforcement details. 10pm Enemy shelling, and continued shelling during night.

Fred’s Death
Official War Diary records of the Australian 4th Field Ambulance show that on 6th-7th August, their Main Dressing Station was located at WARLOY, with elements of their Stretcher Bearers based closer to the front, at the BRICKFIELDS, just north of ALBERT.

Official records further show that Fred came under the care of the Australian 4th Field Ambulance on 6th August, and died of his wounds on the 7th.

There is a medical theory called “The Golden Hour”, this being that the first hour after an injury will largely determine a critically injured persons chances for survival.

Fred suffered shrapnel wounds to the chest, with definitive treatment for such being emergency surgery.

As stretcher bearers of that time had neither the training, equipment nor facilities to perform such surgery, it makes sense that the decision was made to transport Fred to the Main Dressing Station at WARLOY.

Given the distance from TARA HILL to WARLOY, (approx. 10 kilometers) Fred would have been transported to WARLOY by either a motorized or horse-drawn field ambulance.

The severity of Fred’s wounds, combined with the time it would have taken to get him to the Main Dressing Station at WARLOY means that it is highly likely he died either en-route to WARLOY, or very shortly after his arrival there. Men who died at Main Dressing Stations (MDS’s) or Casualty Clearing Stations (CCS’s), would have through necessity, been buried close-by.

In the case of Fred, it seems likely that the MDS was close to the WARLOY-BAILLON Communal Cemetery.

Fred’s Grave
Fred is buried in the Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension. Fred’s grave is located in Plot VII, Row ‘E’, Headstone Number 4 – refer site map, on following page.

Memorials on which Fred’s name is recorded.
Warwick, Queensland
Fred’s name appears on two separate memorials in Warwick

The first being on the Warwick War Memorial situated on the corner of Fitzroy and Palmerin Street, Warwick.
The second is the Warwick Amateur Rugby League Memorial, located next to the front entrance of the Warwick Town Hall, in Palmerin Street.

Canberra, A.C.T.
Firstly, Fred’s name appears on Panel 104, of the Roll of Honour at the Canberra War Memorial.

Secondly, each evening, between sunset & sunrise names from the Australian War Memorial’s Roll of Honour are projected onto the façade of the Hall of Memory (the dome). Each name is projected once every three months.

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