Morley Ewart BRAY

Badge Number: 10375, Sub Branch: Clarence Park

BRAY, Morley Ewart

Service Number: 3374
Enlisted: 17 October 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Payneham, South Australia, 8 June 1891
Home Town: Klemzig, Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Gardener
Died: Natural causes, South Australia, 13 June 1971, aged 80 years
Cemetery: Payneham Cemetery, S.A.
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World War 1 Service

17 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3374, Adelaide, South Australia
10 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3374, 50th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 Feb 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3374, 50th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Seang Bee, Adelaide
7 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 3374, 50th Infantry Battalion

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Morley Ewart Bray was born in the year 1890 in Klemzig SA. He was the son of Mrs Mary Anne Pitt and Mr. John Bray. Before he entered the war he was a single man and worked as a Gardener. His religion was Methodist. He had fair skin, blue eyes and brown hair.

Morley Ewart Bray enlisted on October 17th, 1916. Before this date he had tried to sign up at other location around South Australia but was declined due to poor dental hygiene. This shows that he was a very persistent man and willing to risk his life to serve his country. He was, however, accepted in Adelaide. This was due to the lack of soldiers after a decrease in numbers. They became desperate and started to bend the rules a little too allow these numbers to increase again. At this time, Bray was 5 foot 6 inches tall (170.7cm) and had a weight of 110 pounds (49.9 kilograms).

 He embarked Adelaide on the 17th of February 1917 on the HMAT A48 Seang Bee and went to a training base in devonport on the 2nd May 1917. He was in the trenches by the 6th August 1917. He was ranked as a private in the 50th Battalion and the 9th reinforcement.

On the 3rd of November 1917, Morley was charged for being disobedient. This cost him a few days with no pay.

The first commanding officer of the 50th Battalion was Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Hurcombe. The 50th battalion joined the Western Front in October 1917. This was where they spent the rest of the war. They completed many battles as a battalion and contributed to many attacks. In the war at Villers-Bretonneux, many of the 50th battalion died and many of these bodies were never identified. Their last main operation was to attack the Hindenburg Line on the 18th of September. On the 6thof March 1919, the soldiers in the battalion were sent home after the war had finally finished. By the time the 1st world war had finished, 720 were killed and 1,557 were wounded from the 50th Battalion alone.

Morley Ewart Bray fortunately returned home safely and lived a long life. He died on the 13th of June 1971. He is now buried in Payneham cemetery SA.