Walter Philip (Wally) FRADD

Badge Number: S5562, Sub Branch: Laura

FRADD, Walter Philip

Service Numbers: 6251, 6251A, S72039
Enlisted: 23 May 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 6th (Far North/Outback S.A.) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps
Born: Burra, South Australia, 17 February 1891
Home Town: Laura, Northern Areas, South Australia
Schooling: Beetaloo
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Natural causes, South Australia, 29 April 1964, aged 73 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: LauraHB3*, LauraHR1*
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World War 1 Service

23 May 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 6251, 10th Infantry Battalion, Adelaide, South Australia
28 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6251, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
28 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 6251, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Anchises, Adelaide
1 Jan 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 27th Infantry Battalion
2 Mar 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 6251, 27th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages, GSW (stomach)
26 Nov 1917: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 6251A, 27th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

22 Apr 1942: Enlisted Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN S72039, Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC), Laura, South Australia
23 Apr 1942: Involvement Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN S72039, 6th (Far North/Outback S.A.) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps , Homeland Defence - Militia and non deployed forces
17 Nov 1943: Discharged Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN S72039, 6th (Far North/Outback S.A.) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps

For King and Country_Wounded in Action

Walter Phillip Fradd was born on the 17th of February 1891 in Burra, South Australia.

He was one of seven siblings and the second eldest child to William Phillip and Hannah Tasker Fradd of Laura, South Australia. Walter and younger brother Melville Wesley Fradd joined the A.I.F. in 1916.

Walter was also a member of the 17th Australian Light horse Regiment before the Great War; also known as The South Australian Mounted Rifles which existed from1903 to 1912.

The Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) was the name given to the expeditionary forces raised by Australia in the First World War. Under the provision of the Defence Act 1903, enlistment for service overseas was voluntary. Walter joined up in 1916.

Oath Taken By Walter Upon Enlistment

I, Walter Phillip Fradd swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lord the King in the Australian Imperial Force from May 23 1916 until the end of the War, and a further period of four months thereafter unless sooner lawfully discharged, dismissed or removed therefrom; and that I will resist His Majesty’s enemies and cause peace o be kept and maintained; and I will in all matters appertaining to my service faithfully discharge my duty according to law.

So Help Me God

Honouring Soldiers

Beetaloo Valley, August 1st

Last night nearly all the residents of the neighbourhood assembled at the house of Mr. Fradd to bid farewell to Private Walter Fradd. Another of Mr. Fradds sons that joined the colours with Walter, recently died in camp (Melville)
Speeches were made by Messer’s A. Jacobi, P. Curtin and J.Murphy and the guest presented with a wristlet watch and trench candlestick. The visitors also requested the parents to accept a beautiful wreath to be placed upon the grave of their late son.
The Advertiser, 04 August 1916

The Nominal Roll listed Walter in the 10th Infantry Battalion, 20th Reinforcements when he sailed aboard HMAT Anchises from Adelaide on 28 August 1916 to go and fight in The Great War.

From Australia, his trip took a little under a month arriving at Plymouth, England before transferring to Folkestone; also in England, on the 11th of November 1916 where he stayed for close to 2 months before shipping out to France and the Western front.
Folkestone was the embarkation harbour for troops crossing the channel to Boulogne or Calais and included a training establishment where drill and tactical exercises were carried out to ready the men for what be a gruelling war.

The men of the A.I.F. spent the winter of 1916–17, after the end of the Battle of the Somme, garrisoning the front line near the villages of Flers and Gueudecourt west of Bapaume.

This ‘Somme Winter’ experience was miserable, cold, dangerous and monotonous.

Between the 24th of February and 9th of April 1917, the Australians fought a series of actions across the countryside (e.g. Malt Trench) west of Bapaume until they reached the Hindenburg Line.

During the course of the war, a number of soldiers transferred to other units during their service and this was the case with Walter when he transferred from the 10th to the 27th Battalion on the 17th of December 1916.

Walter spent his entire front line service with the 27th Battalion A.I.F.
He was on the front line with the 27th Battalion from the 01st of February 1917 until his wounding in action on the 02nd of March 1917.

Walter was wounded during an assault on Malt Trench, Warlencourt, Northern France where the 27th Battalion suffered 22 Killed and 95 wounded during the attack.

¹ Walter was severely wounded with a gunshot wound/s to the abdomen; his record mentions that he also received wounds to the mouth and shoulder at the same time. This was possibly from machinegun fire that strafed the fields to hinder Allied advance as the Germans began their planned retreat.

Walter lay out in the battlefield for a long time and apparently there were badly wounded people all around him many of whom were screaming from pain. He found the noise almost unbearable and when the stretcher bearers came, he urged them to take those people first just so the noise would stop.

When Walter was finally taken back to the first aid post someone moved down the ranks of the wounded assessing their condition and attaching some sort of marker (I’m not sure what - a piece of paper or coloured cloth perhaps) which gave guidance as to their chances of survival. Walter was apparently "tagged" as "won't live until morning" and as a result wasn't given any treatment.

²George Wallis, from Laura, South Australia, went to the clearing station to check up on his mate and found Walter lying on one stretcher and his intestines lying on another!
Obviously when he was still alive in the morning treatment was begun!

Walter was evacuated aboard the hospital ship HMHS Gloucester Castle.
Incidentally, this ship was torpedoed by the German U-boat UB-32 off the Isle of Wight a few weeks later on 31 March 1917.

Surely a lucky man, he survived not only the assault on Malt Trench but also avoided this sinking to eventually return to Australia in late August 1917.

Years after the war, Walter went to the dentist for a problem and the dentist found a piece of shrapnel embedded in a tooth. He spent time down at the Daws Road Repatriation Hospital after he'd had another bit of shrapnel removed from his stomach.

Walter married Laura Agnes Borrett on the 07th of September 1923 in Laura, South Australia. Walter and Laura had one child, a son, Melville Borrett Fradd.

Walter died on the 29th of April in 1964. Lest We Forget.
¹ Details kindly provided by Walters grandaughter Judith Fradd
² Details kindly provided by Jack Wallis (Georges son), from Laura, South Australia.

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