MCCARTNEY, Caleb Balia

Service Number: 1707
Enlisted: 7 March 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Rushworth, Victoria, 27 October 1889
Home Town: Corowa, Corowa Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Rushworth School
Occupation: Linesman (P.M.G.)
Died: Coronary Thrombosis, Corowa, New South Wales, 11 October 1958, aged 68 years
Cemetery: Corowa Pioneer Cemetery, NSW
North Section, subsection 5, Grave 11
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World War 1 Service

11 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1707, 48th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
11 Apr 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1707, 48th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Adelaide
7 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
25 Jun 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1707, 48th Infantry Battalion
25 Jun 1918: Discharged AIF WW1
Date unknown: Wounded SN 1707, 48th Infantry Battalion



Caleb was the eldest child of William Henry and Annie McCartney (Corner). He had a stepsister, May Alice and a stepbrother, Samuel Henry - they were the children from his Father's 1st marriage. Caleb had four sisters from William's and Annie's marriage - Ruby Anne, Jane Annie (both died in infancy), Bessie and Hannah Eliza.

Caleb's middle name Balia was the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, Hannah Balia, who arrived in South Australia with her husband Samuel Henry McCartney from Northern Ireland in 1840 aboard the "William Nichol". They were, I believe, from Newry, Northern Ireland. Caleb's father William was born in South Australia around 1847. His grandmother is buried in South Australia.

Caleb was known by his middle name Balia, which was shortened to Bailey. His nephew, Sgt Charles Balia Richards (WW11) was also known as Bailey.


The following abridged information was taken from Caleb's WW1 records, Series B2455, which were documented by Brain McKenzie, Warrant Officer Class 1.

He travelled from Rushworth, Victoria, Australia to South Australia to enlist in 1916 with the 48th Infantry Battalion, 12 Brigade, 4th Division ("Joan of Arc) Battalion AIF.

He enlisted on 7 March, 1916 and embarked for training in Egypt on HMAT Aeneas on 20 April, 1916.

Went AWOL for 9 hours and 50 minutes in France and his pay was docked one pound 50 shillings.

He was detached to 4th Division HQ as Batman to the CO (in the field). Caleb was wounded in action on 29 September, 1917, (Great toes blown off from both feet) severe. It is believed that his CO may have been killed at the same time. This is unconfirmed.

Caleb was moved to a medical evacuation centre and then admitted to the "General War Hospital in Bath, England. Spent time in Dartford for recovery leave and was then attached to HQ, London, awaiting his return to Australia.

He returned to Australia on 13 May, 1918. He was discharged honourably from service on medical grounds.


Field allowance 6/- per day, 1/- (Retirement Fund), Mother 1/-, In the Field 2/-, Retirement Gratuity was nine pounds and six shillings. I thought this might be interesting to some.


He married Daisy Melina Harvey in Melbourne on 19 October, 1918, they had two daughters Annie and Doris. Annie died from TB on 21 April, 1920, aged 1 and Doris also died from TB only 13 days old. Tragically Daisy died on 4th October, 1920, also from TB, she was 27 years old.

Four years later he married Vera Amelia Ann Brown on 14 August, 1924, he was 14 years older than Vera. Lorraine, their first daughter was born around 1937 and their second daughter Ronda was born in 1944 (both living). He was 58 when I was born and I was 13 when he died.

He did not win any medals for bravery but in his families eyes he was a hero when he overcame the severe injuries to his feet - he cycled, played golf , tennis and I believe he was a very crafty snooker/card player and was about to take on Bowls just before he passed away.

He has four grandchildren whom he never met they are Michael and Andrew Way, Mellissa and Samantha Bragg and 5 great grandchildren, Jade and Charlotte McDermott and Nicholas, Emily and Thomas Griffiths.

All in all he has had a lot of tragic in his life to deal with but one thing I can say he was a very loving caring father who was a great story teller with a wicked sense of humour.

He will always be remembered.

This has been written by his daughter Ronda.

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