Alfred George STRINGER

Badge Number: 9537, Sub Branch: Mt Barker
9537

STRINGER, Alfred George

Service Number: 180
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Wokurna, South Australia, 10 September 1894
Home Town: Mundoora, Barunga West, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: 19 August 1973, aged 78 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Mount Gambier Carinya Gardens Cemetery and Crematorium, S.A.
Memorials: Mundoora War Memorial, Port Broughton War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

9 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, SN 180, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, SN 180, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
Date unknown: Wounded SN 180, 43rd Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by tony griffin

Alfred George Stringer was the fourth son of Stephen and Emma Stringer (nee Overall).

Alfred was born at Wokurna. His mother Emma, whose address was given as Sherlock, was nominated as his Next of Kin. A labourer Alfred was 21 years old when he enlisted at Adelaide on 18 January 1916. Initially taken on the strength of A Company, 2nd Depot Battalion AIF he was then transferred to D Company 1st Depot Battalion, then to A Company before finally being taken on strength with A Company 43rd Battalion AIF at the Morphettville Camp. 43rd Battalion embarked from Outer Harbour on 9th June 1916 aboard HMAT A19 “Afric” and  3 days later arrived in Albany where the battalion did a route march through the town before sailing on the 13th. “Afric” arrived in Colombo on June 26th and on the 27th sailed for Suez where it arrived on July 11th. Arthur disembarked in Marsailles in southern France on 20th July 1916 and entrained for the port of Le Harve from where he crossed the English Channel. On July 24th 1916, Arthur with the 43rd Battalion arrived at Lark Hill Camp on the Salisbury Plains where Bayonet sacks, bombing (grenade) practice, route marches and gas mask drills were part of the daily life. Arthur would have also been issued with the equipment needed on the Western Front. On November 25th, 1916 the 43rd Battalion left Lark Hill in 3 trains for Southhampton  from where they embarked for France at 8pm and disembarked at Le Harve at 8am on 26th November. Initially Arthur would have been billeted one mile east of Steenwerk. Here the battalion continued training which included physical exercises, bayonet fighting, route marching, rifle training and inspections.

On the 23rd December the 43rd Battalion marched to the trenches at Armentieres and on the night of 29th and 30th December moved into the line. For the next four months the Battalion rotated through fighting in the trenches, patrolling no-man’s land and raiding German trenches to supporting the other battalions with work parties and training while in reserve.

Beginning on the 1st May Arthur endured a 4 day route march to Journay about 12 miles west of St Omer where training continued. After two weeks away from the trenches Arthur and the 43rd marched back to the trenches at Armentieres. On 1st June the Battalion was again relieved and proceeded to billets at Ponte Nieppe where it was prepared for the Battle of Messines. On 5th June 43rd Battalion moved into line fully equipped for an attack which occurred on 7th June.

On 11th July, 1917 43rd Battalion moved into a rest camp where it was refitted and trained for an offensive on the 30th July. Equipped for attack Arthur and the 43rd left camp at 8pm by motor lorry. On reaching the front they marched to the line and went straight into attack at 3.40 am on the 31st July 1917. It must have been on this first day of the Battle of Pilckem that Arthur received a gunshot wound to the left shoulder.  

He was taken to the field ambulance and from the 2nd Australian Clearing Station was placed on an ambulance train to 55 General Hospital near Wimereux. On the 7th August he was evacuated to England on the Hospital Ship Saint Patrick and admitted to Reading War Hospital. From here he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital from where notification to his mother varied from “progressing favourably” to “seriously ill”.

On the 16th December 1917 he embarked aboard HS No.2 “Kanowna” and disembarked in Australia on the 12th February 1918. Alfred was discharged medically unfit on 14th August , 1918 after serving abroad for 1 year  249 days.

 

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