Gustav Alfred (Alf) GERHARDY

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GERHARDY, Gustav Alfred

Service Number: 3652
Enlisted: 27 April 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Lobethal, South Australia , 2 February 1894
Home Town: Black Hill, Mid Murray, South Australia
Schooling: State School & Lutheran School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of Wounds (shrapnel to spine) , Wimereux, France, 14 October 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Wimereux Communal Cemetery
VI. D. 5A.
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

27 Apr 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3652, Adelaide, South Australia
12 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3652, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
12 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3652, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ballarat, Adelaide
26 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3652, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Polygon Wood
14 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3652, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres

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Biography

Wimereux Communal Cemetery is located just outside of the town of Wimereux on the French coast, just north of Boulogne. Strangely, most of the CWGC headstones located within the cemetery are planted horizontally in the ground.  

Private Gustav Alfred Gerhardy:  

Gustav Alfred Gerhardy was born on the 2nd of February, 1894 to Johan August Carl Gerhardy and Mathilda Ernestine Gerhardy (nee Rosenberg) at Lobethal, in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. He was the third child of ten children, five of which were given birth to by Clara Maria Gerhardy (nee Rosenberg) who Johan Gerhardy married after Mathilda’s death in 1900. Living at Black Hill, in the Mid Murray District, he become a labourer (possibly a farmer) until he enlisted.

At the age of 22 Gustav Gerhardy responded to the Empire's call and enlisted on the 27th of April, 1916 in Adelaide. He was assigned to 8th Reinforcements, 32nd Battalion which comprised both Western Australian recruits and South Australian recruits. Gustav Gerhardy embarked at Adelaide on the 12th of August, 1916 on HMAT Ballarat (A70) which sailed directly to Devonport in England. Arriving in England on the 30th of September, 1916 he was admitted to the Codford Hospital with nephritis just three days later while training in the Salisbury Plains. Gustav stayed in the Codford Hospital until he was discharged on the 21st of November, 1916. He then resumed his training with the 8th Training battalion and then in late December he crossed the channel and arrived at Etaples in France on the 31st of December, 1916.

From the 3rd of March, 1917 Private Gustav Alfred Gerhardy briefly attended the wireless training school at Campagne-les-Hesdin before he was taken on strength by the 32nd Battalion on the Western Front near Bapaume on the 13th of March.

On the 1st of October, 1917 Gustav Gerhardy was wounded in action and was taken to the 10th Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Siding near Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery with a shrapnel wound to his spine. He later evacuated onto the 27th Ambulance Train and finally admitted to the Number 2 Australian General Hospital located at Wimereux. On the 14th of October, 1917 while still at Number 2 Australian General Hospital Private Gustav Alfred Gerhardy died of his wounds. He was buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery nearby. He was 23 years old.

Throughout the war Gustav’s older brother (child number two,) Private Johannes Arthur Gerhardy fought alongside his brother in the 32nd Battalion. He survived the war, however, and returned to Australia were he died in 1961.

British War Medal: 44962

Victory Medal: 44449

Memorial Plaque: 333712

Nathan Rohrlach, 2013.

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"Private G. A. (Alf) GERHARDY, third son of Mr. J. A. C. Gerhardy, of Black Hill (S.A.), died on October 14, of gunshot wounds in spine, in 2nd Australian General Hospital. He was 23 years old last May. He enlisted on April 27, 1916, and sailed on August 12 with the 32nd Battalion, of which his elder brother, Arthur, is still a member. He was generally respected." - from the Adelaide Advertiser 10 Nov 1917 (nla.gov.au)

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