Alfred Leo CAMERON

CAMERON, Alfred Leo

Service Number: 3170
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 39th Infantry Battalion
Born: Quorn, South Australia, 7 August 1884
Home Town: Quorn, Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Tinsmith
Died: Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia, 1939, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 1 Service

19 Feb 1917: Involvement Private, 3170, 39th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '18' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Ballarat embarkation_ship_number: A70 public_note: ''
19 Feb 1917: Embarked Private, 3170, 39th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ballarat, Melbourne

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Biography contributed by Allen Hancock

Alfred Leo Cameron was born in Quorn, South Australia on 7 August 1884, the seventh of thirteen children of Robert Cameron and Agnes McIntosh both originally from Perthshire in Scotland. His grandfather, Robert Cameron senior, was the owner of Cameron's Iron Works, Foundry, and Agricultural Implement Factory located in Kapunda, South Australia and he was also elected Mayor of Kapunda from 1881 to 1882. Robert Cameron junior managed a branch of the factory located in Quorn.

When Robert Cameron senior died on 28 February 1893 Robert junior moved his family to Kapunda and assumed control of the company. The financial crisis of 1893 saw the factory closed and the Camerons returned to Quorn before finally relocating to scrubland near Mount Compass where they farmed until about 1913 before moving to Victor Harbour.

Alfred enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne on 9 November 1915 one month after his family received formal advice that his brother, Percival James Cameron, had been killed in action on Gallipoli on 7 August 1915. His enlistment papers show his occupation at the time to be that of a tinsmith living at 11 Little Cremorne Street, Richmond, Victoria. His papers also include a statutory declaration that he was in fact a married man but that his wife had deserted him eight years previously. He had not heard from her since then nor did he know her whereabouts and there were no children from the marriage. While there is no other information regarding this marriage the 1919 Victorian Electoral Roll shows Alfred Leo Cameron residing at 11 Little Cremorne Street, Richmond. Also shown as living at this address was Florence Agnes Cameron (Home Duties). No other reference to Florence Agnes Cameron has yet been located.

Alfred Cameron underwent basic training but was discharged at the Invalids Clearing Depot at Ascot Vale on 6 April 1916 as ‘Medically Unfit not due to Misconduct’ suffering from chronic bronchitis. Not to be put off Alfred re-enlisted on 8 November 1916 and finally embarked on 19 February on HMAT Ballarat as a member of the 39th Battalion 7th reinforcements. He disembarked at Devonport on 25 April and marched in to the No 10 Training Battalion the following day.

On 11 June Alfred was admitted to Fargo Hospital suffering from bronchitis. A few days after his discharge from hospital he was sent to the Military Hospital at Tidworth, this time with rheumatism and asthma. He was transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartmouth on 21 August where he was finally diagnosed with myalgia, also known as muscle pain or muscle ache, and is a symptom that presents with a large array of diseases.  He was discharged from hospital on 24 August and sent to No 2 Command Depot to await transport home to Australia. He embarked on HMAT Berrima on 30 October arriving in Melbourne on 30 December. Hew was discharged from the AIF on New Years Day 1918 as medically unfit.

Leo married Emily Grace Williams in 1923 and they made their home in Shepparton. After moving to Benalla the following year Emily died and later that year Leo married Myrtle Miriam Robinson. Leo and Myrtle had one child, Alice Lillian and finally settled in Albury. Lillian died in Albury in 1930 and Leo died in 1939 at the Repatriation Hospital in Heidelberg, Victoria.