Randall Lance (Lance) RHODES MC

Badge Number: 2775, Sub Branch: Renmark

RHODES, Randall Lance

Service Number: 148
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Morphettville Racecourse, Morphettville South Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Adelaide, SA, 3 August 1893
Home Town: Double Bay, Woollahra, New South Wales
Schooling: Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Bank clerk
Died: Natural causes, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia, 16 June 1959, aged 65 years
Cemetery: Rookwood Cemetery & Crematorium
Panel: KO, Niche number: 34
Memorials: Adelaide Rowing Club WW1 Pictorial Honour Board, Exeter Semaphore Uniting Church (fmly Wesleyan) Roll of Honour
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19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville Racecourse, Morphettville South Australia

World War 1 Service

20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 148, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 148, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 148, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
15 Jul 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 148, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
16 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 148, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 148, 50th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
24 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN 148, 50th Infantry Battalion, Villers-Bretonneux
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 10th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

Awarded the Military Cross at Mouquet Farm

'For conspicuous gallantry during operations. Though buried four times by high explosive shells, he continued to lead his men until he was badly wounded.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Wounded three times in three key actions of the AIF...........

Wounded at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915; invalided to Luna Park Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt; recovered, returned to duty.

Wounded, 2nd occasion, Mouquet Farm, France, 14 August 1916; invalided to 3rd Southern General Hospital, Oxford, England; recovered, returned to duty.

Wounded, 3rd occasion, Villers-Bretonneux, France, 24 April 1918; invalided to No 2 Red Cross Hospital, Rouen, France and then to Australia.

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Lance Rhodes has a website dedicated to his memory - see the link in the sidebar.  This contains personal letters charting his service in WW1.

He is commemorated at Adelaide Rowing Club and at Prince Alfred College.  We do not yet have the Honour Rolls for PAC and St Peter's College loaded to this site as yet. 

Private Randall Lance Rhodes (Service No: 148 ) was a 21 year old bank clerk from Gilberton, South Australia when he enlisted on 19 August 1914 at Morphettville Racecourse.  He was one of many young men at the time who was a member of the Adelaide Rowing Club and he is commemorated on the Club's Honour Board in their Club Rooms on the River Torrens in Adelaide.  He had also had prior service in the military under the Universal Training System, with 5 years in the Senior Cadets.

He was assigned to the 10th Battalion and after training at Morphettville, embarked for overseas from Adelaide on 20 October 1914 aboard HMAT Ascanius carrying the first contingent of South Australians destined for war.

He landed with his colleagues in the first wave ashore at Gallipoli.  He was wounded in action on the first day and evacuated to Egypt but recovered and rejoined his unit at Gallipoli later in the campaign whereupon he was promoted a number of times. 

Lance Rhodes time at Gallipoli was cut short like that of many others.  As the campaign progressed through the summer of 1915, poor sanitation and hygiene thanks to the nature of the environment and the terrain meant that the risk of disease became a bigger threat than enemy action.  Lance Rhodes was evacuated to Malta on 26 September 1915 with dysentry which together with enteric fever (typhoid) were the major cause of non battle casualties at ANZAC.

He did not return to ANZAC.

When the Australians withdrew to Egypt, numbers of men who had distinguished themselves on the Peninsula and who exhibited leadership qualities were commisioned, including Arthur Blackburn, Wilfred Jose, John Gordon and Lance Rhodes.  On 17 March 1916 Jose and Rhodes were appointed as Second Lieutenants and assigned to the 50th Battalion as part of the 'doubling of the AIF' that took place in preparation for service on the Western Front.

The 50th Battlion was not committed at Pozieres in other than a reserve role.  Their turn was to come at Mouquet Farm, and while serving there, Lance Rhodes was wounded in action on 15 August 1916. For his bravery under heavy fire near Mouquet Farm, France in August 1916, he was awarded a Military Cross (MC). He was evacuated to England.

He returned for further service in France with the 50th Battalion he was again wounded in action on 24 April 1918 during the famous counter-attack at Villers Bretonneux. This time his wounds were of a severity such that after being evacuated to England, he was returned to Australia on 24 October 1918.

After the war he joined the RSL and was a member of the Renmark Sub Branch

He served again in the Second World War until 30 May 1949 at the rank of Major.


Medals:  Military Cross, 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal (his medal set needs to be updated to include WW2 medals once they are confirmed)


Steve Larkins and others  - Nov 2014