Frederick John RAWNSLEY

Badge Number: S55225, Sub Branch: TEA TREE GULLY

RAWNSLEY, Frederick John

Service Numbers: 4355, S1496
Enlisted: 28 August 1916, at Adelaide
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Parkside, South Australia, Australia, 8 September 1898
Home Town: Parkside, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Railway employee
Died: 28 December 1977, aged 79 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Mount Gambier Lake Terrace Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide South Australian Railways WW1 & WW2 Honour Boards, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

28 Aug 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4355, 32nd Infantry Battalion, at Adelaide
7 Nov 1916: Involvement Private, SN 4355, 32nd Infantry Battalion
7 Nov 1916: Embarked Private, SN 4355, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide

World War 2 Service

19 May 1941: Involvement SN S1496
19 May 1941: Enlisted Keswick, SA
5 May 1945: Discharged

World War 1 Service

Date unknown: Wounded SN 4355, 32nd Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Frederick John Rawnsley joined the army at the age of 18 and was one of the younger recruits. He joined on the 28th of August 1916 and being his age, it meant he had to receive permission from his mother before joining. His occupation was a South Australian Railway (SAR) cleaner meaning he would’ve cleaned the large locomotives and the stations. This was a hard-manual job with not much mechanical support like in modern society.  He was not a migrant and was born in Australia. He was single, still living with his parents with no children when he joined the army. It is not known that he participated in any activities or where he was educated but he grew up in Parkside with his parents Mrs Alice Emily Rawnsely and John W Rawnsley.

After Frederick John Rawnsley’s enlistment he was moved to a training camp. These training camps were all around the county and where all the soldiers learn how to fight. This was important as they were all volunteers and didn’t know how to fight. They went on long marches, learned how to load and fire a gun, and also became fit enough for battle. As a volunteer, this would’ve been an exciting experience as most soldiers had never been overseas before. The camp built his discipline and commitment needed for serving on the frontline.

As a private in the army, his role was infantry which was the main role for most men. They would fight on the ground in close combat and live in some of the worst conditions, in trenches.

Frederick arrived in England on the 9th of January 1917 in the coastal town of Plymouth. On the 5th of April, he was moved to Salisbury before falling ill and moving to Tidworth on the 3rd of May. He recovered quickly from minor illness (headache) and joined back with his battalion at Hurdcott camp just on the outskirts of Salisbury on the 16th of June. After some time back with his battalion, he was moved to Harefield hospital in London on the 6th of July. He continued being treated there until the 3rd of September. He continued to battle these problems before being discharged due to being medically unfit on the 28th of December 1917. He arrived home safely and recovered before enlisting again near the end of the war in late August 1918. He was discharged again after the war on the 24th of December 1918, nearly a year after his previous discharge. He only received one medal as he did not fight in any battles.

Frederick John Rawnsley served in world war two after returning. He married Bertha Marjorie and had seven children, Colleen, Bernard, Keith, Roma, Dawn, Terrence, and Jewel. His occupation changed from the start of 1916 and he became a shop keeper during early 1918 before his second enlistment. He lived a long life and died when he was 79.