Arthur Augustus COLE

COLE, Arthur Augustus

Service Numbers: 6422, S74809
Enlisted: 15 April 1942
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 4th Field Ambulance
Born: Magill, South Australia, 25 July 1886
Home Town: Hyde Park, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Stationer
Memorials: Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

2 Dec 1915: Involvement Private, 6422, 4th Field Ambulance, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '22' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: RMS Malwa embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
2 Dec 1915: Embarked Private, 6422, 4th Field Ambulance, RMS Malwa, Adelaide

World War 2 Service

15 Apr 1942: Involvement Lance Corporal, S74809
15 Apr 1942: Enlisted Barmera, SA
15 Apr 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lance Corporal, S74809
10 Nov 1943: Discharged

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Arthur Augustus Cole was born on the 25th of July 1886 in Magill, South Australia. A stationer by trade, he lived at No.3 Albert Street, Hyde Park, and stated to be single with no children, although correspondence from 1967 hinted at a possible marriage to Alice Lillian Inglis in January 1907. His mother, Sarah Anne Cole, was listed as his closest living relative, and he remained a lifelong Baptist. While his education details were never discovered, his occupation as a stationer suggested that he had limited education. On the 6th of August 1915, Arthur enlisted as a private with the Field Ambulance 4, Reinforcement 12 in Keswick, South Australia. His service number was 6422, and on the 2nd of December 1915, he embarked for duty from Australia on the HMS Malwa.

During World War I at Gallipoli, Arthur was stationed "on the beach" with his unit. Fighting at Gallipoli was marked by the brutal realities of trench warfare and challenging terrain, resulting in high casualties. As a member of The Field Ambulance Company, his primary responsibility was ‘Second Line' casualty evacuation from 'First Line' Regimental Aid Posts,from there, any injured soldiers were transported by ship to Lemnos Island,then Malta, and finally the United Kingdom for extended hospitalization.

Arthur's training as a medic gave him the skills to administer first aid, clear airways, staunch bleeding, and splint fractures. The activities of the field ambulance varied based on the needs of the Australian Imperial Force, but they never involved combat. Instead, Arthur carried stretchers, bandages, surgical instruments, and first aid supplies, providing vital medical support to the troops and focusing on saving lives.

During the Gallipoli landings and the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War, Arthur spent two months training at Tell El Kebir, which served as a training centre for the First Australian Imperial Force reinforcements, an Australian Stationary Hospital, and it was a site for a large prisoner of war camp. He was later promoted from the 4th Field Ambulance Unit to the 58th Infantry Battalion for duty with the 8th Field Ambulance. Arthur Augustus Cole served in several significant conflicts during World War I, including the Gallipoli campaign at the end of 1915, . However, the majority of his service was on the Western Front in France, spanning from 1916 to 1918, primarily with the 58th Battalion seeing action at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the Battle of Verdun, and the Nivelle Offensive in 1917.

During his service he had delay in returning from granted leave, leading to the outcome of a fine in September, 1916, Arthur exceeded his authorized leave period by two days, resulting in a penalty of two days' pay. Despite such setbacks in his diligence, Arthur's dedication and leadership skills were noticed. He was promoted to Lance Sergeant while in the field on September 3, 1916, which was a recognition of his competence and ability to excel under challenging battlefield conditions.

As a result of the harsh realities of war, Arthur’s health suffered. On April 6, 1917, he was admitted to Norfolk War Hospital to recover from trench feet and myalgia. Trench feet was a painful condition that occurred when feet were exposed to cold, wet, and unsanitary conditions for an extended period. Myalgia, on the other hand, is a term for muscle pain or discomfort, often caused by overuse, injury, or infection. Later, on May 25, 1917, Arthur was placed in an English hospital, battling trench fever, a serious disease resulting from body lice infestations in the unsanitary trench conditions. This illness brought high fever, excruciating muscle pain, and weakness, making trench combat even more difficult.

Throughout his service, Arthur Augustus Cole was admitted to hospitals on three different occasions for fevers, myalgia, and trench feet. Despite the hardships, he continued to serve with dedication. To recognize his valuable contributions and sacrifices, Arthur was awarded three medals: The Star Medal, for service in France and Belgium between August 5, 1914, and December 31, 1915; The Victory Medal, awarded to those who served on duty between August 5, 1914, and November 11, 1918; and The British War Medal, presented to those who fought overseas or in the armed forces/merchant navy between August 5, 1914, and November 11, 1918.


After returning from the war, Arthur Augustus Cole's memory lives on in the Unley Town Hall, where his name is etched into the WW1 Honour Board. His legacy stands as a testament to the countless brave individuals who served and sacrificed during one of the most challenging periods in human history. Arthur returned to Adelaide, Australia, on the 19th of July 1919, and he was discharged from the Imperial Force on the 29th of September 1919. In 1950, records indicated that he had moved to Barmera, South Australia.



58th infantry battalion (no date) Virtual War Memorial | 58th Infantry Battalion. Available at:

8th Field Ambulance (no date) Virtual War Memorial | 8th Field Ambulance. Available at:

4th Field Ambulance (no date) Virtual War Memorial | 4th Field Ambulance. Available at:

Arthur Augustus Cole (no date) Virtual War Memorial | Arthur Augustus COLE. Available at:

The AIF project (no date) Details. Available at:

Trove. Available at:

[email protected] (2023) Gallipoli campaign 1915, Anzac Portal. Available at:

[email protected] (2022) August offensive on Gallipoli 6 to 29 august 1915, Anzac Portal. Available at:

Battle of tell el kebir (2023) Wikipedia. Available at:

[email protected] (2022b) Australian Army Medical Corps in World War I, Anzac Portal. Available at:

Acknowledgement of traditional custodians (no date) Australian War Memorial. Available at:

The battle of the Somme (no date) RSS. Available at: