David Austral TWINING MC, MM, MiD, CdG

TWINING, David Austral

Service Numbers: 2629, 2619
Enlisted: 21 June 1915, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Ballarat, Victoria, 19 November 1895
Home Town: Kalgoorlie, Kalgoorlie/Boulder, Western Australia
Schooling: Ballarat CofE Grammar School
Occupation: Railway Surveyor
Died: Suicide, Keswick, South Australia, 26 August 1931, aged 35 years
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide
Section: Light Oval - Row Number: 2S - C/E/W: E - Site Number: 11
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World War 1 Service

21 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2629, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
2 Sep 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2629, 16th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Anchises, Fremantle
2 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2629, 16th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
12 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2619, 16th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC Gallipoli
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2629, 48th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
12 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 48th Infantry Battalion, 1st Passchendaele
1 Aug 1920: Discharged AIF WW1, Captain, 48th Infantry Battalion

The Windmill Outpost - Pozieres

Sergeant David Twining was in command of a forward post near the site of the Pozieres Windmill. The action for which he was awarded the Military Medal is depicted in one of the famous dioramas at the Australian War Memorial. Having endured relentless shelling and beaten off several German counter attacks, Twining sent a walking-wounded man back to the Battalion Command post with a note to the CO, LtCol Raymond Leane. With all of his men killed or wounded, he wrote "I am the last one left. I have the Lewis Gun (its original operator Private Charles Tognini lay wounded beside him). Do you still want me to hold the position?" Twining and his men were retrieved - he was wounded in the process.

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News (Adelaide, SA: 1923 - 1954) Friday 28 August 1931


Accorded Military Honors

FULL military honors were accorded the late Capt. David Austral Twining at the burial in the soldiers' portion of West Terrace Cemetery this afternoon. Capt. Twining, who was a professional soldier, was adjutant of the 27th Battalion (the South Australian Regiment), and was found dead in an office of the battalion drill hall at Keswick yesterday morning. A large number of militiamen of the regiment mustered at Keswick Barracks and marched to the cemetery. Pallbearers were Brig.-Gen. R. L. Leane, Col. J. M. A. Durrant, Lieut.-Cols. H. H. Downes and P. G. Bice (commanders of the 48th and 27th Battalions respectively), Majors W. Bridgeford, J. E. Lee, A. R. Allen, and E. O'Brien. The captains of the regiment marched behind the gun carriage as chief mourners. Color-Sgt. J. W. McKechnie was in charge of the firing party. Parents of Capt. Twining and of Mrs. Twining arrived by the express from Melbourne this morning to attend.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128932348 (nla.gov.au)

Western Mail (Perth, WA: 1885 - 1954) Thursday 17 September 1931

Rank and File.

Captain David Austral Twining, whose tragic death in South Australia was recently reported was well known to the A.I.F. in this State. He was a railway surveyor in 1914 and enlisted at Kalgoorlie early in the piece. He served with   the 16th Battalion on Gallipoli and after the evacuation transferred to the 48th Battalion. At Windmill Hill (Pozieres) Twining, then a sergeant, won the Military Medal for gallant conduct, and was promoted to commissioned rank. A captaincy followed after Messines, and the Military Cross and Croix de Guerre were also awarded. For some time he was adjutant of the 48th Battalion, when Brig. General (then Lieut.-Col.) R. L. Leane was its commander. When he returned in 1919 he resumed civilian employment, but soon resigned from that and entered Duntroon Military College as a cadet. He graduated as lieutenant in 1921 and was appointed to the Staff Corps. In 1926 he was attached to the Indian Army for training and returned to take over the adjutancy of a militia battalion in South Australia. He was only 36 when he passed on.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38533160 (nla.gov.au)

News (Adelaide, SA: 1923 - 1954) Monday 25 January 1926


Career of Lieut. D. A. Twining

Although one of the most junior of staff corps officers in this State, Lieut. David Austral Twining by his ability and perseverance has won his way to the highest staff appointment with the Third Infantry Brigade, having in November last been appointed Brigade Major.

Born at Ballarat in November, 1895, Lieut. Twining was educated at Ballarat Church of England Grammar School. At the age of 17 years he received a commission as second lieutenant of cadets, and served for a time with the college company. As a youth of 19 he was employed with a survey party on construction work in the laying of the railway line from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie when he answered the call to arms shortly after the out- break of war. He enlisted in the 16th Battalion at Ballarat.

He served with the unit on Gallipoli from September, 1915, and in March of the following year transferred to 48th Battalion as a lance corporal. The regiment was then commanded by Lieut.-Col. (now Brig.-Gen.) R. L. Leane. As a sergeant he was in the action at Windmill Hill, near Pozieres. For distinguished services he received the Military Medal and after recovering from a wound, re-joined the battalion as a lieutenant. For a time he acted as intelligence officer, and in December, 1916, was appointed adjutant.

Holding this appointment until September, 1918, Lieut. Twining received his captaincy at Messines in July, 1917. He only once acted as company commander, and that was in the action in the Amiens offensive on August 8, 1918. Mentioned in despatches, he received the Military Cross.

In September, 1918, he was attached to 107th New York Regiment in an advisory capacity as operations officer. He was mentioned three times in the despatches of Sir Douglas Haig, and for services in the Villers Brettoneaux region was awarded the French Croix de Guerre.  

Returning to Australia in June, 1919, as adjutant of the troopship Common- wealth, he resumed civil employment for a few months. He was successful in the examination for Royal Military College, Duntroon. Resigning his com- mission he joined the college as a staff cadet. He graduated as a lieutenant in 1921, and his first appointment was as adjutant of 6th Battalion (Melbourne City Regiment). In June, 1923, he was   appointed to this State as Staff Captain of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, and so once more became associated in a military capacity with his former battalion commander.

During his stay in this State Lieut. Twining has taken a great interest in the welfare of citizen force officers and non-commissioned officers. By his cheery disposition he has won the esteem of all.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article132045008 (nla.gov.au)