Sydney Trafford WITCOMB


WITCOMB, Sydney Trafford

Service Number: 1660
Enlisted: 2 January 1915, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 11th Infantry Battalion
Born: Yacka, South Australia, 1888
Home Town: Port Wakefield, Wakefield, South Australia
Schooling: Adelaide Business Training Academy
Occupation: Sleeper cutter
Died: Killed In Action, Gallipoli, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 19 May 1915
Cemetery: Lone Pine Cemetery, ANZAC
Plot 1. Row F. Grave 14., Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Balaklava Port Wakefield St Albans Church Roll of Honour, Clare Original Clare School WW1 Memorial, Clare Schools Old Scholars who Fell WW1 Memorial, Port Wakefield Memorial Arch, Yacka Public School Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

2 Jan 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1660, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
22 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1660, 11th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1660, 11th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Itonus, Fremantle
7 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1660, 11th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
19 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1660, 11th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

Pte. Sydney T. Witcomb wrote many letters to his parents which were full of love and hope, one such letter concluded with the sentence - "I will try to do my duty and fight the good fight for freedom and justice".

Private 1660 Sydney Trafford Witcomb was killed-in-action at Gallipoli on 19 May 1915. He was initially burried at Browns Dip Cemetery, but in 1923 he was re-interned at Lone Pine Cemetery due to the former site being exposed to torrential rains at certain seasons and the potential of flooding.

It was reported in the newspapers of the day that Pte. Sydney Witcombe had only spoken to his brother, then Pte. Oscar Witcombe, who was also at Gallipoli two hours prior to him being killed-in-action.

The brother 205 Capt. Oscar George Witcomb (/explore/people/349117) to Pte. Sydney T. Witcomb survived the Gallipoli campaign and was sent to France. Capt. Witcombe transferred to the Royal Flying Corp and qualified as an Observer. At the outbreak of the Second World War Capt. Witcomb rejoined the AMF and assisted in the recruiting of servicemen for South Australia.


The residents of Port Wakefield (writes our correspondent) were shocked on Saturday when it became known that Pte. S. T. Witcomb had been killed in action at the Dardanelles. Although he enlisted from Western Australia, he was well and favourably known here, and had made many friends by his manliness and geniality. Much sympathy is felt for his parents (Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Witcomb). Another son, Oscar, is fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula." - from the Adelaide Observer 03 Jul 1915 (