Allan Ernest CARLSON

CARLSON, Allan Ernest

Service Number: 3710
Enlisted: 16 August 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Goolwa, SA, Australia, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Goolwa, Alexandrina, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carrier
Died: Springbank,SA, 18 July 1963, cause of death not yet discovered, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia
Kendrew Oval
Memorials: Goolwa War Memorial, Mount Barker Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

16 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3710, 13th Light Trench Mortar Battery
2 Dec 1915: Involvement Private, 3710, 10th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: RMS Malwa embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
2 Dec 1915: Embarked Private, 3710, 10th Infantry Battalion, RMS Malwa, Adelaide
16 Aug 1916: Wounded Private, 3710
2 Mar 1917: Wounded Private, 3710, 50th Infantry Battalion
11 Nov 1918: Involvement 3710, 10th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Cornerstone College

Allan Ernest Carlson

1.      Allan Ernest Carlson was involved in the 10th battalion and later switched to the 50th battalion. He fought on the Western Front. Although he was not part of the 10th battalion at the time, they were one of the first units to land at Gallipoli. They had planned to land further up the shore on a flat plain where the battle would be even but because of the strong currents and wind they landed on a mountainous and rocky beach where the Turks were ready for them. They didn’t stand a chance. The Turks had spotted them 30 metres before they reached the shore and opened fire before they had even landed. They were not only taken by surprise but they weren’t ready for the terrain. 2,000 men were killed or wounded in the first few days. The frontline of the battle was 3km long and sometimes the Turks were only 12 metres away from the Aussies. Dead bodies were packed into the walls which caused poor sanitation, disease and a swarm of flies to come. There were a few attempts to get rid of the disease and smell, from the dead bodies, but they didn’t do very much. Eventually it became winter and 300 had to be evacuated because of frostbite. Eventually the soldiers who survived were evacuated. Out of the 50,000 Aussies who served at Gallipoli, 19,441 were wounded and 8,709 died.

On the Western Front, Allan became a part of the 50th battalion and went to fight over on the Western front in France. He fought in the trenches till 1918 when he became sick. He was later sent home in 1919 at the end of the war.

2.      Allan Ernest Carlson was a mail carrier before he joined the army. He was not married and had no children. He grew up in the town of Goolwa in SA which back then was renowned for being Australia’s first inland port. The town thrived because of trade up and down the Murray River but struggled after the implementing of a railway system which took away most of the trade along the river. This forced the town to rely on farming to keep it alive.

3.      Allan Ernest Carlson fought on the Western Front with the 10th and 50th battalions. He fought at Somme 1916 and 1918, Bullecourt 1917, Ypres 1917, Menin Road 1917, Polygon Wood 1917, Broodseinde 1917, Poelcappelle 1917, Passchendaele 1917, Lys 1918, Hazebrouck 1918, Kessel 1918, Amiens 1918, Albert 1918, Hindenburg Line 1918, Epéhy 1918, France and Flanders 1916 and 1918, Gallipolli 1915 and 1916 and Pozieres 1916. Pozieres was a small village in the Somme Valley in France. The village was captured on the 23rd of July by the first division who held it under heavy artillery fire from the Germans till the 2nd and 3rd divisions took over from them.

Life on the Western Front was hard. The battles were fought in trenches. The trenches were extremely dirty. They smelt horrific and were very muddy. The toilets often overflowed into the trenches and there were dead bodies everywhere, even some buried in the walls. There were hordes of rats living in the trenches, some as big as a cat, and the lice tormented the soldiers constantly. The soldiers didn’t get much sleep but when they did it was for no more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. During rest time they would write in diaries and letters and play cards.

The Hindenburg Line was the name given to the last and strongest German trench line. In September, 1918 the first attack on the Hindenburg Line was planned and the attack happened on the 18th of September. They attack happened at 5:20am and they only used 8 tanks and a few dummy tanks, as well as the thousands of soldiers and artillery. They took 4,300 Germans as prisoners for the cost of around 1,000 of our soldiers, which is fairly slim compared to the amount of soldiers the Germans lost in that battle. This first attack was one of the most successful in the war. The second attack was on the 28th of September. In this attack they broke through the German line. The fighting lasted for four whole days and there were very heavy losses. The Aussies took part in one more attack on the 5th of October where the Hindenburg line was completely broken.