Albert GREENMAN

GREENMAN, Albert

Service Number: 3277
Enlisted: 19 February 1916, Bendigo, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 58th Infantry Battalion
Born: Pyalong, Victoria, August 1893
Home Town: White Hills, Bendigo, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Team driver (later Fire Brigade Officer)
Died: Accidental (ship explosion), Adelaide, South Australia, 1924
Cemetery: West Terrace Cemetery (General)
Memorials: White Hills Arch of Triumph
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World War 1 Service

19 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3277, Bendigo, Victoria
16 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3277, 57th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
16 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3277, 57th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Medic, Melbourne
7 Aug 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 3277, 58th Infantry Battalion

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

Biography contributed by Jack Coyne

The Adelaide Register of April 28, 1924 reported the following news story -                                                                                        

"MR. ALBERT GREENMAN 

Mr. Albert Greenman, who was driver of the Dermis motor fire pump, was quite possibly the first fireman on duty to lay down his life at duty's call. He was a native of High Camp Plain, Victoria, and was in his twenty-ninth year. After service abroad with the A.I.F. he linked up with the fire brigade in 1921, having been engaged as from July 25 of that year. He was held in the highest esteem by his comrades of the brigade, and heart felt sympathy was expressed to his relatives at his untimely end.

 The Adelaide Observer later reported on May 3, 1924 –    

Fireman Albert Greenman, a returned soldier, who was killed by the explosion. Our photograph shows him in his A.I.F. uniform with his young wife. (see attached)  The couple were only recently married. His comrades spoke of this brave and gallant man as one of the most popular in the brigade.

The Border Watch newspaper reported on June 13, 1924-

"INQUEST ON FIREMAN GREENMAN Adelaide, June 13.

Dr. Ramsey Smith (City Coroner) concluded the enquiry to-day into the death of Albert Greenman, a fireman who lost his llfe on tho steamer City of Singapore, at Port Adelaide, on April 26. The finding was that the deceased had met his death through injurles received in consequence, of an explosion of gas on the vessel.

The Albert Greenman story                                                    

Albert’s parents lived at Bobs street, White Hills near Bendigo when he enlisted on February 19, 1916. He was 22 years of age, single and listed his occupation as a Team Driver. (Someone who drove teams of horses which pulled the loads.)

Initially placed in the 88th Training battalion, Albert would spend ten months in training in Australia before embarking for overseas on December 16, 1916. He would spend time in the Bendigo, Langwarren and Royal Park military camps over that year.

He would leave on board HMAT Medic A7 with the 8th Reinforcements for the 57th Battalion. Their journey to England would take two months and almost to the day of his anniversary of enlisting, he would land at Plymouth on the south coast of England.

The Reinforcements would be ‘Marched in’ to the 13th AIF Training Battalion at Hurdcott a major troop base in England on the Salisbury Plain. He would be in regular training there and then get get giving the opportunity to attend a one month Farrier’s course in the study in Cold Shoeing (horses) at the Southern Command school at Romsey.in Southern England.

On May 20, 1917, he would finally transfer officially into the 57th Battalion (Taken on Strength) at Codford camp and from there make the long journey across England to the port town of Folkestone on the east coast. Two days later on May 22, 1918, he would in France.

Arriving in northern France at Harve ( a major British depot town) he would be not far from the war front currently being played on the Somme. A couple of weeks later Albert is transferred to the 58th Battalion as the AIF command was trying desperately to balance battalion strengths after a series of disastrous battles at Fromelles, Passchendale and Ypres.

On June 6th, 1918 Albert would join his new Battalion and stay with them till the end of the war.

When the Allies launched their own offensive around Amiens on 8 August, the 58th Battalion was amongst the units in action, although its role in the subsequent advance was limited. The battalion was involved in the fighting to secure Peronne at the beginning of September and entered its last major battle of the war on 29 September 1918. This operation was mounted by the 5th and 3rd Australian Divisions, in co-operation with American forces, to break through the formidable German defences along the St Quentin Canal. 

The battalion withdrew to rest on 2 October 1918 and was still doing so when the war ended. Weakened by the progressive return of troops to Australia, the battalion ceased to exist as such when it merged with the 59th Battalion on 24 March 1919. (AWM website) 

Albert would be given leave (furlough) to spend Christmas and New Year back in England, returning to France for further peace making duties on January 3, 1919. 

On April 2, he would sail back to England this time to the Weymouth camp in Dorset awaiting the opportunity to sail home. 

On May 15, 1919, Albert would return to Australia onboard HMAT Orontes, landing in Devonport Tasmania on the June 28, 1919.  He would be discharged from the AIF on August 7, 1919.

His military record later indicates in 1923 that his new address is the Head Fire station in Adelaide. Just a year later he would be killed in the tragic accident mentioned earlier.

Private Albert Greenman is remembered by the people of White Hills. The names of the local lads who sacrificed their lives and those that were fortunate to return from the Great War are shown on the embossed copper plaques on the White Hills Arch of Triumph, at the entrance to the White Hills Botanic Gardens.

Private Greenman’s name on the Memorial is marked with a cross (indicating Killed in Action) however, the cross was inserted as the memorial was not opened till 1925. 

 

 

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