Frederick James Edward Richard ATKINSON

Poppy

ATKINSON, Frederick James Edward Richard

Service Number: 6955
Enlisted: 1 October 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Snowtown, South Australia, 23 March 1892
Home Town: Cummins, Lower Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Schooling: Barunga & Snowtown Public Schools
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Cappy, France, 26 August 1918, aged 26 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Cummins War Memorial, Port Lincoln & District Honor Roll WW1, Tumby Bay War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

1 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 6955, Adelaide, South Australia
16 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6955, 10th Infantry Battalion
16 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 6955, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Berrima, Adelaide
26 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 6955, 10th Infantry Battalion, "The Last Hundred Days"

A Soldiers Story

Fred was born on 23 Mar 1892 at Snowtown (SA) to Charles Henry Atkinson and Emma Stewart Atkinson (nee Bidgood). There were 4 children in the family, 3 boys and 1 girl, of which he was the second eldest. His family lived at Melton (near Snowtown SA) until they moved to Tumby Bay in 1904 aboard the SS "Ferret" and travelled inland to establish a farm in partnership with Mr. J. Durdin on Sect 2 Hundred of Cummins.
Fred went to Marble View School (south of the present day township of Cummins) which was located in the church at that location. On completion of schooling he worked on the family farm, and other farms in the area, until his enlistment in the Army at Adelaide on 26 Oct 1916 at the age of 24. At that time he recorded his occupation as farmer and his address as Cummins, West Coast, SA.
After processing Fred was sent to 2 nd Depot Battalion (Bn) at Mitcham for training before being allocated to
23rd Reinforcements/10th Bn.
The 10th Bn was raised within weeks of the declaration of war in Aug 1914: the Bn embarked as a unit just two months later. It fought in Gallipoli with very heavy casualties before being withdrawn to Egypt and then sent to the Western Front in 1916.
Fred embarked from Adelaide (Outer Harbour) on 16 Dec 1916 aboard HMAT "Berrima" bound for Devonport (UK), arriving on 16 Feb 1917.Within a week of arrival he was admitted to the Fargo Hospital suffering from influenza, where he remained for 3 weeks, before resuming training. A fortnight later he was readmitted to hospital, this time the Parkhouse Hospital, suffering from Mumps; he was released from hospital a month later and proceeded to France to join his unit, being finally taken on strength on 22 May 1917. Two months later he was back in hospital, this time with Scabies, but was released back to his unit after only 2 weeks.
Whilst with the unit he must have been an effective soldier as he was promoted to Lance Corporal on 6 Aug 1917. On 6 Oct 1917 he was wounded in action(WIA) with gunshot wounds to his right leg and thigh and again admitted to hospital, this time 6th General Hospital at Rouen (France), before being evacuated to
2nd Southern General Hospital at Bristol (UK) aboard the HS "Western Australia". He returned to his unit on 10 Apr 1918.
On 9 May 1918 he was again wounded in action, this time with gunshot wounds to his right forearm; he was evacuated through 15th Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) to 6th General Hospital. After a relatively short stay he rejoined his unit in the field on 20 Jun 1918.
During Aug 1918 the 10th Bn was involved in the "Great Allied Offensive" on the Somme around Amiens: this action was also known as the "hundred days offensive". It was during this offensive that Fred, on 26 Aug 1918, was killed in action (KIA) in the field near Amiens during one of the last battles fought by his unit. The 10th Bn was withdrawn from the line in Sep 1918.
Fred is buried at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.
His elder brother, Ernest Albert Atkinson also served during WW1 with 10th Bn and was killed in action on 18 May 1918 at Merris (France), during the German spring offensive.
His family relocated from the Cummins area to Payneham after the death of their sons.

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Biography

Son of Charles Henry ATKINSON and Emma nee BIDGOOD

"...6955 Private Frederick James Edward Richard Atkinson, 10th Battalion. A farmer from Snowtown, SA, Pte Atkinson served in the Volunteer Rifleman Koppto Club, West Coast, before enlisting in the AIF on 26 October 1916. He embarked with the 23rd reinforcements, 10th Battalion, on 16 December 1916 aboard HMAT Berrima (A35). On 6 August 1917 Pte Atkinson was appointed the rank of Lance Corporal (L Cpl). In July 1917 L Cpl Atkinson's brother, 1878 Pte Ernest Albert Atkinson, transferred to the 10th Battalion. The brothers served briefly together before Ernest was killed by a shell on 18 April 1918. L Cpl Atkinson was with his brother at the time and later oversaw his burial at the Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery, France. On 26 August 1918, L Cpl Atkinson was killed in action by a shell explosion at Cappy, France. Although attempts were made by members of his Company to recover his body, he was never found. His name is recorded on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

"ATKINSON.—In affectionate memory of Lance- Corporal F. J. E. R., the dearly loved brother of the late Private E. A. Atkinson, killed in action August 25th, 1918, both in B Company, 10th Battalion. 

How we miss their loving footsteps

As around the home they roamed.

As we loved, so we miss them; 

They were the sunshine of our home,

To dearly loved to be forgotten." - from the Adelaide Advertiser 25 Aug 1919 (nla.gov.au)

 

 

 

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