Carl Albert (Albert) BAHNISCH

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BAHNISCH, Carl Albert

Service Number: SX8418
Enlisted: 9 July 1940
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Nuriootpa, South Australia, 3 December 1902
Home Town: Berri, Berri and Barmera, South Australia
Schooling: Light’s Pass School, Barossa Region, South Australia
Occupation: Laborer with the Tarac Company
Died: Killed in action, Libya, 18 April 1941, aged 38 years
Cemetery: Tobruk War Cemetery, Tobruk
Grave Number 162 Plot III Row K , Tobruk War Cemetery, Tobruk, Libya
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Berri Oval "Diver" Derrick VC Memorial Grandstand & Roll of Honour, District of Nuriootpa Roll of Honour WW2
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World War 2 Service

9 Jul 1940: Involvement Private, SN SX8418
9 Jul 1940: Enlisted Wayville, SA
9 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN SX8418, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement

'Though Lost To Sight, To Memory Ever Dear'

Carl Albert BAHNISCH SX8418
Carl, or Albert as he was known, was the youngest son born at Nuriootpa on December 3rd 1902 to Ernest Trangoot and Anna Louise Amanda (nee Gertig) Bahnisch Albert’s parents initially farmed at Light’s Pass before living in the Barossa town of Nuriootpa. They were descendants of Lutheran settlers who first established the Barossa region of SA. One of nine children, Albert had four brothers Joe, Edward, Reinhold, Fred and four sisters Alma, Else, Wanda and Agnes. Albert’s schooling was through the Lutheran established Light’s Pass where he was christened and confirmed by the Reverend J. J. Stolz. From his early years, Albert’s passion was music, particularly in the local Loxton Band where he was the solo tenor and his brother, Joe was the 1st tenor. Both boys were involved in numerous public performances with band music being both popular and part of the tradition of Germanic communities.
While his parents continued to live in Nuriootpa, Albert moved to the Riverland area of Berri to live as there was more prospect of work in Berri and nearby Loxton. He was employed by the Tarac Company, established in 1930 which had developed a process designed to recover grape alcohol, grape seed oil and tartrates from winery by-products. However, his passion continued to be his music with him inevitably also joining the Berri Brass Band, while still continuing to play with the Nuriootpa Band when he visited his parents. Additionally, he was also actively involved in the Citizens Military Force.
However, with the outbreak of WWII there was a big drive by the military in country areas to get local youths and men to sign up. Consequently, Albert enlisted on the 9th July 1940 aged 37 at Berri. By July he had arrived at Wayville, where he was allocated the number SX8418 and was soon assigned to the newly formed 2/48th Battalion. Initial days were spent in the cold of the Pavilions, now part of the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds, before he and other new enlistees headed to Woodside for their preliminary training. Inevitably, he became a member of the band attached to his unit.
Albert had unexpected pre embarkation leave at the end of October so returned home to have precious time with his family. In typical country style, the community hurriedly organised a send-off for their ‘old Nuriootpa boy’ at the Comforts Fund social. There he was presented with a gold pencil with the good wishes of citizens, and a parcel from the Red Cross and Comforts Unit. Earlier, Mr J. S. Lord had extended district good wishes, and Mr E. R. Johnson spoke on behalf of Returned men.
The large contingent then embarked on the Stratheden for the Middle East, on the 7th November 1940 and disembarked on the 17th December. Albert was assigned as a stretcher-bearer with a medical unit attached to his Battalion. His 2/48th Battalion completed a few months training in Cyrenaica before going to Tobruk at the start of April 1941 where the dust, flies, heat, minimal water supplies and constant bombardment were quite a challenge to these fresh new enlistees.
Having been in the Middle East for just four months Albert was killed in action on the 18th April 1941 aged 38. John G Glenn in his book ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ describes conditions that Albert faced. ‘The whole day B Company was again harassed by very accurate mortar fire. One mortar bomb made a direct hit on the pit occupied by the stretcher bearers and a B Company driver, who were waiting to go forward to tend to the wounded. Five of them were killed and two were wounded, one of them dying later in the day.’ This was in attempts to retain Hill 209 which was subjected to intense mortar, machine gun, and artillery fire forcing B company to keep undercover.
Albert’s record indicates that he was buried by his fellow comrades in Grave Number 162 in the Tobruk War Cemetery the following day. The inscription on his headstone now reads ‘Though Lost To Sight, To Memory Ever Dear’. Buried in Plot III Row K with fellow soldiers from the 2/48th Kenneth Barry SX7575, killed on the 18th Stanley Button SX8712, and George Dickinson, SX7649.
Back home, the local ‘Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record’ carried the distressing news that ‘The passing of Private Carl Albert Bahnisch, first of the Berri boys to be killed in action, is deeply felt in the district. He was well respected by all those who knew him.’ "A fine chap, steady, well liked, and a great lover of music" is how one of the Berri townsfolk spoke of him. The newspaper continued ‘The conductor of the Berri Band, Mr. Friebe, said that Albert was a really, good bandsman, a solo baritone player. He had played with the Berri Band during all the competitions and had been a valuable asset to it. When on his last leave to Berri Albert said that he would like to attend what might be his last practice with the Band—and this it proved to be. He was quiet and respectable, Mr. Friebe said, and the bandsmen felt the death of their late member very much.’
Australian newspapers carried the list of those killed at a similar time as Albert; SX7368 Pte. Albert: A. Tanner, of Yatala, SX8712 Pte. Stanley R. Button, Minlaton and SX7882 Pte. George L. Havers, of Torrensville.
An In Memoriam service was conducted after the usual morning service at St. Petri Church, Nuriootpa, on Sunday, when fitting reference was made to Albert's passing. This was followed by the singing of a special hymn in his honour. Other tributes followed. The Angaston ‘Leader’ in September ’41 reported that ‘A tree in memory of late Pte. Albert Bahnisch is being planted by the Nuriootpa Town Band in the band rotunda grounds; and the tree, together with an inscribed tablet, will be unveiled by Mr J. S. Lord (Band pres.) at a special service, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 21. Albert, who was an old Nuriootpa boy, was a member of the band, and also played with the Berri band. He was an able musician and of sterling character. The Town Band and School Band are planning to parade along Murray Street to the rotunda immediately prior to the service. Several district ministers have been asked to participate; also Mr H. F. Lock (R.S.L.. sub-branch pres.) and district Bands.’
In the next week’s edition the ‘Leader’ reported on the tribute paid by the bandsmen ‘"In Memory of Pte. A. Bahnisch, killed in action April 18, 1941" is the inscription on a tablet of pink Angaston marble at the base of Nuriootpa Band's tree of tribute, unveiled on Sunday by Mr .J. S. Lord (Band pres.) during an impressive ceremony attended by between 500 and 600 people. The tablet was the work of Habich's, Nuriootpa, and the tree is a Norfolk Island pine; tree and tablet being draped for the occasion with a Union Jack and Australian ensign. Nuriootpa and Lights Pass School bands formed up in the shape of a cross during the unveiling. At close, Bandsman W. Friebe. who was associated with Pte. Bahnisch here and at Berri, sounded the Last Post.’
“Mr Lock said he regretted the circumstances that made the ceremony necessary, but was pleased to be present as representative of an organisation which would play a great part in the future of this country, as it had done in the past. It was gratifying to see that citizens had arranged the ceremony, as no tribute was too great for the service given or honour paid for the sacrifices made by members of the fighting forces; sacrifices which made it possible for them to enjoy freedom. He emphasised that it was necessary to hold such ceremonies, and to hold them often, so as to remind them of the sacrifices made on their behalf. They had been too casual in the past, soon forgetting the sacrifices made and taking too much for granted. Mr Lock then drew a graphic picture of the devastation and distress in invaded countries, indicating that the further they could keep the front line from their shores, the better. They were facing an enemy both savage and ruthless. It was their duty as citizens to demonstrate to those who had given loved ones that their grief and loss was realised. The blow to mothers, wives and sweethearts would be softened, thereby; it never could really he healed, although they had heartfelt pride in the knowledge that they had given their menfolk for a common cause— a sacrifice all hoped would not be in vain.
“The organisation he had the honour to represent would, and had, played its part in keeping fresh in the minds of the community the memory of those who had fallen. At their club in Adelaide the lights in every room flickered at 9p.m. every night. and all present stood in silence as a tribute to the fallen. Someone in the room — the chairman, if a meeting or social — would then repeat those lines of Binyan’s; all joining in the last line; "We will remember them." And what of the men who were making this great sacrifice for them. They had seen them going through their training young men who were physically and morally the cream of Australian youth. Among them were men who would have been leaders in all walks of life; men the State and Australia may sorely need in years to come to guide it through troublous times. Unfortunately, that sacrifice was part of the price that had to be paid to win this terrible war.
“It was part of the price that had to be paid to free enslaved people in the conquered countries; the price of their own continued freedom and privileges. Thus, they were preserving a heritage for the generations to come, and to the children he appealed for honour and care of this and other such memorials. He felt that the preservation and care of this tree would he in safe hands, for they were conversant with events of the day and fully realised the significance of that ceremony. Closing, Mr Lock said he was confident the community would always honour that tree as it justly deserved, and being evergreen in character it would mirror that element in the future, always keeping preen the memory of Pte Bahnisch and all the gallant men who gave their all by laying down their lives for God and king and country.”
Also, locally Albert is remembered at the Berri Oval ‘Diver’ Derrick Memorial Grandstand and on the Nuriootpa Roll of Honour. Less than four months after Albert’s death, his mother, Anna died on the 6th August, aged 76 years. His father, Ernest died in the last days of the war on January 1st 1945 in the Angaston Hospital. Both Parents are interred in the Nuriootpa Cemetery.
Albert continued to be remembered in the years after his untimely death.
Advertiser Tuesday 6 May 1941, BAHNISCH. —On the 18th of April, killed in action, abroad. Private Albert, 2nd A.I.F. (late of Berri), youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Bahnisch, Nuriootpa, aged 38 years. Some day we will understand. BAHNISCH. —Killed in action on the 18th of April. Private Albert, beloved youngest son and brother of Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Bahnisch and family, Nuriootpa. Peacefully sleeping. Greater love hath no man. BAHNISCH. —On the I8th of April, killed in action, abroad. Private Albert, 2nd A.I.F., loving brother of R. and sister-in-law Irene and nephew Noel, of North Walkerville. He gave his life to save others.
Advertiser Friday 10 April 1942, BAHNISCH. Private Albert. —Killed in action at Tobruk, April 18. 1941. He shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age will not weary him, nor the years At the going down of the sun, And in the morning we will remember him. —Inserted by Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry, Tanunda.
Advertiser Saturday 18 April 1942, BAHNISH. —In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle Albert Bahnish 2/48th. Battalion, killed in action at Tobruk on April 18, 1941. In silence we remember. —Ever remembered by R. (Jack), Irene and Noel. BAHNISCH. — In loving memory of Albert, late 48th Battalion, 2nd A.I.F., killed in action at Tobruk on April 18, 1941. Death changes many things, But memories, like the ivy, clings Ever remembered by his loving friend Viola. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of our son and brother, Albert, Second A.I.F., who gave his life for God, King and Empire at Tobruk on April 18, 1941. We have you to our memory, God has you in His care. —Ever remembered by his loving father and sister, Agnes. BAHNISCH. —A tribute of love to the memory ot our dear brother, Albert, killed in action at Tobruk April 18, 1941. Not just today, but every day, In silence we remember. Ever remembered by Wanda, George, Kevin and Wendy, Nuriootpa. BAHNISCH. —In memory of Albert Bahnisch, killed in action April 18, 1941. Thoughts drift back to bygone days; Time moves on but memory stays. Inserted by his uncle and aunt, Ern and Em. BAHNISCH, Private Albert.—Killed action at Tobruk, April 18 1941. They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old, Age will not weary him nor the years condemn; At the going down of the sun And in the morning we will remember him. Inserted by Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of Albert who was killed in action at Tobruk on 18th April 1941. Beneath the Cross of Sacrifice, Within a silent grave, His comrades laid him down to rest Among the honored brave. We have him in our memory, God has him in His care. —Inserted by his loving sister Alma, Bert and family. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of our nephew Albert, killed in action at Tobruk on April 18 1941.Too far away your grave to see, But not too far to think of thee —In remembrance from Aunt Emma and Uncle Ben. BAHNISCH. —In memory of our dear brother and uncle, Albert (2/48th Batt., 2nd A.I.F.). who died on active service at Tobruk on 18th April 1941. Suddenly came the call, So sudden a shock to all, What did we hope for him, Life full and fair, success renown, No a life laid down for his country’s need; God giveth him a victor's wreath. —Ever remembered by his loving sister and brother-in-law, Elsie and Frank, Lionel and Lorelie.
Advertiser Saturday 17 April 1943, BAHNISCH. — In loving memory of our brother and uncle. Albert, killed in action, April 18, 1941. We have him in our memory, God has him in His care. —Inserted by Ed, Cora, nieces, Roma, Elva, Helen. BAHNISH—In loving memory of Albert, killed in action, Tobruk, April 18, 1941. —Inserted by brother R. (Jack), sister-in-law Irene, and nephew Noel. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of dear brother Albert, killed Tobruk, April 18 1941. Memory is a golden chain that links us till we meet again. —Always remembered by Elsie, Frank, Lionel and Lorelie. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of our dear brother, Albert, killed at Tobruk, April 18. Beautiful memories treasured ever, of happy days we spent together. — Always remembered by Wanda, George, Kevin and Wendy. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of brother Albert, who was killed in action at Tobruk, April 18, 1941. Resting where no shadows fall, in perfect peace he awaits us all. —Inserted by his loving sister, Alma, Bert and family.
Advertiser Monday 19 April 1943, BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of Pte. Albert, killed in action April 18, 1941. Beautiful memories treasured ever of happy days we spent together. —Inserted by Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry. BAHNISCH, C. A.—In proud and loving memory of our dear brother and uncle, who was killed in action at Tobruk, April 18, 1941.—Ever remembered by Joe, Gert and family. In God's care.
Leader Thursday 20 April 1944, page 2 BAHNISCH—In loving memory of our dear brother and uncle, Albert, killed at Tobruk on April 18th, 1941.To be with us in the same old way, would be our dearest wish to-day. Ever remembered by Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry.
Advertiser Tuesday 18 April 1944, BAHNISCH. —In memory of our dear brother and uncle, Albert, killed at Tobruk, April 18, 1941. —Inserted by Ron, Irene and Noel. BAHNISCH. —In sad but loving memory of our dear brother Albert, who gave his life at Tobruk on April 18, 1941. Safe in God's care. —Ever remembered by his sisters Elsie, Wanda and Alma.
Advertiser Wednesday 18 April 1945, BAHNISCH. —Fondest memories of Albert, killed at Tobruk. on April 18, 1941. Thoughts drift back to bygone days; Time moves on but memories stay. —Always remembered by his loving sisters Alma, Elsie and Wanda. BAHNISCH. —In memory of Albert, killed at Tobruk. April 18, 1941. —Inserted by Ron, Irene and Noel. BAHNISCH. Private Albert. —Killed in action, April 18, 1941. —Ever remembered by Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry.
Advertiser Thursday 18 April 1946, BAHNISCH. —Loving memories of Albert, killed on April 18. 1941. Too far away your grave to see, but not too far to think of thee. —Always remembered by his sisters Alma, Elsie and Wanda. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of Albert, killed in action at Tobruk. April 18, 1941. In our hearts a memory is kept of one we loved and will never forget. —inserted by Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry.
Advertiser Friday 18 April 1947, BAHNISCH. — In loving memory or our dear brother, Albert, killed in action, April 18. 1941, at Tobruk. — Always remembered by Wanda, Alma, Elsie. BAHNISCH. — In loving memory of Albert, killed at Tobruk April 18, 1941. Years may dawn and fade away, but memories will always stay. — Always remembered by Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry.
Advertiser Monday 18 April 1949, BAHNISCH. —Fondest memories of our dear brother Albert, killed at Tobruk, April 18, 1941. Loved in life, honored in death. —Always remembered by Alma, Elsie and Wanda. BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of our dear brother Albert, killed at Tobruk on April 18, 1941. His memory will live with us for ever. —Inserted by his sisters Wanda, Elsie and Alma.
Advertiser Tuesday 18 April 1950, BAHNISCH. —In loving memory of Albert, killed in action at Tobruk. April 18, 1941. For ever in our thoughts. —Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry, Tanunda.
Advertiser Wednesday 18 April 1951, BAHNISCH. — Treasured memories of Albert, who lost his life at Tobruk, April 18, 1941. Evergreen thoughts of you always. — Ted, Kath, Joan and Barry.

Researched and written by Kaye Lee daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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