Hector Roy (Long Tom) HEMING

Badge Number: S2494, Sub Branch: Kensington Park

HEMING, Hector Roy

Service Number: S75033
Enlisted: 19 August 1914
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 8th (SA) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 28 October 1888
Home Town: Waikerie, Loxton Waikerie, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Fruit Grower
Died: Natural causes, South Australia, 17 September 1971, aged 82 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Adelaide Grand Masonic Lodge WW1 Honour Board (2), Adelaide Torrens Rowing Club Roll of Honour, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Grange Public School Roll of Honor, Lower North Adelaide War Memorial WW1, North Adelaide Christ Church Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted
20 Oct 1914: Embarked 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
20 Oct 1914: Involvement 10th Infantry Battalion
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Major, 10th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

15 Apr 1942: Involvement Major, S75033, 8th (SA) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)
15 Apr 1942: Enlisted Barmera, SA
15 Apr 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Major, S75033
9 Feb 1946: Discharged

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Born 28 October 1888 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Son of the late Thomas HEMING and Mother Grace (nee VERCOE).

His father, prior to leaving England for Australia had served as a life-guardsman in H.M. Household Cavalry, and in 1908 acquired the licence of the Selborne Hotel, Pirie Street, Adelaide, but following hid decease, the licence on 14 December 1909 was transferred to his mother, who relinquished same on 1 March 1911. 

He had two brothers in the AIF:-

Captain Leslie Duncan Heming:b. 21 Apr 1890 in Kooringa, Burra, South Australia of the 16th Battalion, killed in action in Gallipoli

Major Thomas George Heming: b. 25 Jan 1883 in Port Adelaide, South Australia of the 43rd Battalion

He received his education in Adelaide, and at the outbreak of the Great War was undergoing a course of training for the Commonwealth Military Forces, and was residing with his mother at No. 15 McKinnon Parade, North Adelaide.

As a young man he was keenly interested in military matters, and received his first commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 78th (Adelaide Rifles) Infantry on 17 March 1913 and was promoted to rank of Lieutenant in same unit on 24 August 1914.   He also officiated as Adjutant of his regiment for some considerable time, and was holding this commission at the time of joining the AIF. 

He was one of the first South Australian Officers to offer his services for overseas, and was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion at Morphettville on 19 August 1914 and posted to original E Company. 

He embarked with the original Battalion per HMAT A11 Ascanius on 20 October 1914 and at Mena in Egypt January 1915 when his company merged with original C Company and became the new B Company, he was appointed a Platoon Commander in same and promoted to rank of Lieutenant on 1 February 1915. 

He was noted for being the tallest Officer in the original Battalion.

He accompanied the Battalion on the Ionian to the Dardanelles, and landed with his company from the Prince of Wales at the historic landing on 25 April 1915.   Later that day he had the unique experience of being the only surviving Officer of his company – the first and second Officers in Command being killed, one Platoon Commander killed, and two other Platoon Commanders wounded and forced to evacuate.  When the 10th Battalion was relieved by the Royal Marines on 29 April 1915, he and his party of 20 men were one of the last posts to be relieve.  They had occupied a position difficult to reach, and were short of food and water.

He was invalided from the Peninsula on 5 August 1915, suffering with enteric fever, and proceeded to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth. 

He arrived in France on 16 April 1916, and joined the 10th Battalion at Sailly in May 1916.

He was then posted to the Command of B Company.  He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 27 June 1916 and in July 1916 was appointed Brigade Bombing Officer. He remained in France until 2 March 1917, when he was seconded for duty with the 3rd Training Battalion.  In this capacity he proceeded to England, where he was appointed OC of the 10th Training Battalion. 

He returned to France on 19 December 1917 and was OC of C Company whilst the Battalion was in the line in the Messines Sector.  He served through various operations with the Battalion until he finally left the 10th at Pradelles on 18 July 1918.  He then proceeded to England where in August 1918 he embarked on the Malta, arriving back in Adelaide the next month, his services with the AIF terminating on 8 October 1918.

During his absence from Australia he was appointed an Honorary Captain in the Australian Military Forces on 27 June 1916 and was appointed a Lieutenant in the 2nd/10th Infantry on 1 October 1918.  On 12 December 1919 he was promoted to the rank of Captain and listed on the Reserve of Officers. 

Returning to civil life he decided to settle on the land, and obtained an irrigation perpetual lease of 16 ½ acres in the Waikerie irrigation area, taking possession of same on 24 May 1919.   On 1 September 1924 he increased his holding by securing an additional lease of 35 ½ acres situated in the same area.

On 16 June 1920, at St Peter's Church, Glenelg, he married Ruby Margaret, daughter of James Allen.  They had two sons.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Truth No.8.  He was affectionately known to men of the 101th as “Long Tom” or “Boof”.

In 1935 his private address was Box 34, Waikerie, South Australia.

Extract from “The Fighting 10th”, Adelaide, Webb & Son, 1936 by C.B.L. Lock; supplied courtesy of the 10th Bn AIF Association Committee, April 2015.