THOMAS, Richard

Service Numbers: 10583, V9217
Enlisted: 15 July 1915, 3.5 years Militia SA
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Riverton, South Australia, 24 August 1881
Home Town: Irymple, Mildura Shire, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Injuries - fell from a moving tram, 115th Australian General Hospital (Heidelberg), Melbourne, Australia, 22 May 1944, aged 62 years
Cemetery: Springvale War Cemetery, Melbourne, Victoria
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Mildura Cenotaph
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World War 1 Service

15 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 10583, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column, 3.5 years Militia SA
5 Jan 1916: Embarked Gunner, SN 10583, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column, HMAT Afric, Melbourne
5 Jan 1916: Involvement Gunner, SN 10583, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column
9 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Gunner, 21st Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade
11 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Driver, 21st Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade
26 Jan 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Driver, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade , 5th Battery
21 Aug 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Driver, SN 10583, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade , 3rd MD
30 Oct 1919: Honoured Mention in Dispatches, "The Last Hundred Days", For meritorious service 16/17th September 1918 to 11th November 1918. 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 124

World War 2 Service

7 Nov 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN V9217
7 Nov 1940: Enlisted Royal Park, VIC
7 Nov 1940: Involvement Private, SN V9217

Help us honour Richard Thomas's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From How We Served

The final resting place for; - 10583 & V9217 Private Richard Thomas MID of Irymple & Red Cliffs, Victoria, who prior to his enlistment for War Service on the 15th of July 1915 had been engaged in farming.

Richard was allocated to reinforcements for the 1st Division Ammunition Column 1st AIF and was embarked for Egypt and further training on the 5th of January 1916.

Following his arrival in Egypt, Richard was mustered as a Driver, and was formally taken on strength with his Unit on the 10th of February, and shortly after this he was embarked for France on the 23rd of March. From the time of his arrival in France, Richard’s service would be continuous, and by the 24th of January 1917 he had been transferred over to the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade.

On the 13th of March Richard was evacuated for hospitalization due to injuries to his leg, but was deemed fit enough to return to his Unit in the field on the 27th of March, following which again his service would be continuous.

Richard was availed a short respite of Leave to England on the 11th of October 1918, following which he returned to his Unit in France by the 28th of October, and would remain in France following the Armistice on the 11th of November which would see an end to the First World War.

For his devotion to duty over the period of September to November 1918, Richard was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’. On the 5th of March 1919, Richard began his repatriation back to Australia, departing from France to England where he disembarked on the 21st of March, and by the 12th of May he had arrived back in Melbourne, Victoria.

Richard received his official discharge from the 1st AIF for his re-entry into civilian life on the 21st of August 1919.

With the outbreak of a Second World War, Richard again sort re-enlistment with the Australian Military Forces on the 7th of November 1940, and he was accepted for full-time service within Australia.
Richard was posted to the 12th Garrison Battalion at the end of November 1940, and his service with this Unit would be again continuous, until the morning of the 22nd of May 1944, when he fell from a moving tram.

Admitted immediately into the 115th Australian General Hospital (Heidelberg) suffering serious injuries to his skull, Richard would succumb to these injuries whilst still being treated in hospital on the 22nd of May 1944. He had been aged 62.

Following his accidental death whilst serving in the Australian Military Forces, Private Richard Thomas MID, a veteran of the ‘Great War’, and who had chosen to again serve his country during War, was formally laid to rest within Springvale War Cemetery, Victoria.