Ernest Harry ALLCHURCH

Badge Number: S4704, Sub Branch: Tea Tree Gully

ALLCHURCH, Ernest Harry

Service Number: 30
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Wokurna, South Australia, 21 September 1894
Home Town: Port Broughton, Barunga West, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Tea Tree Gully, South Australia, 30 June 1980, aged 85 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Enfield Memorial Park, S.A.
Eastern Niche Wall No.2 - RSL AT2
Memorials: Hackney St Peter's College Honour Board, Port Broughton War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

9 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, SN 30, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, SN 30, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
14 Aug 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

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Biography contributed by tony griffin

Ernest Harry Allchurch was the son of Henry and Lucy Jane Allchurch of Port Broughton.  Edward was born at Wokurna on 21 September 1894. A farmer, he was 21 years old when he enlisted on 13 September 1916.

Ernest was appointed to 43 Battalion and embarked aboard HMAT Afric on 9 June 1916. After landing in England he was posted to the transport section and promoted to Driver. His rank reverted to Private when he rejoined the Company and on 25 November 43 Battalion proceeded overseas to France.

In June 1917 43 Battalion was in action at Messines in Belgium and on the 11th of that month Ernest received a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

The 43 Battalion diary for that day reads: “Consolidated new front line also made Communication trenches from Block to new front line, this work was continued up to the time when Battalion was relieved by the 16th Battalion. Relief was complete at 12.30am on morning of 16-6-17.”

A month later Ernest rejoined his unit but three weeks later received gunshot wounds to the arm and leg. The wound to his right thigh was termed “sever. Still in action at Messines the battalion diary for 31 July 1917 records 175 other ranks wounded on that day.

“Battalion formed at 3.40am on 31-7-17. Battalion went into action on north of River Douve having river on right flank and 42nd Battalion on left flank. Battalion frontage was about 1000yds at 3.50am. Battalion rushed and captured position which was held and consolidated until relieved by 41st Battalion at midnight on 1-8-17.”

Ernest was evacuated to England where he recovered from his wounds before returning to France on 10 November and rejoining his unit. Late in February 1918 Ernest was detached to Sniping School for a week and in September received four days field punishment for disobeying direct orders and gambling.

After hostilities had ceased 43 Battalion returned to England from where Ernest embarked aboard HT Nestor on 20 May 1919. He disembarked in Australia on 26 June 1919 and was discharged on 14 August 1919.