Frank Roy KOSTER


KOSTER, Frank Roy

Service Number: 3676
Enlisted: 22 March 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 7th Field Ambulance
Born: North Kensington, South Australia, 1893
Home Town: Norwood, South Australia
Schooling: State School
Occupation: Clerk & Traveller
Died: Meningitis , France, 24 April 1916
Cemetery: Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Royal Oak Lodge Honor Roll, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Goodwood St George Anglican Church Memorial Tower, Norwood War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

22 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
31 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3676, 7th Field Ambulance
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3676, 7th Field Ambulance, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Frank Roy Koster was born in 1893 on 8 Cairns Street, Norwood (North Kensington) South Australia, with his mother Mrs. Sarah Koster and father Mr. Charles Frank. Within the family his religious denomination was congregational (protestant faith). Frank had a fair complexion with brown hair and brown eyes, he weighed 143 pounds and had a height of 5 foot 9. In Frank’s youth, he attended a public school, and later had studied at a Business college before entering the army. He was never married and had no children.

Private Frank Koster fought in the Australian Defense Forces. He fought in the Australian army in the First world war which ran from 1914 – 1918. Australia was fighting in the war as Britain declared war on Germany in 1914. As Australia was still a part of the British Empire, they were pressured into joining the war and fighting for what they respected.

Frank was enlisted on the 15th March 1915 and was listed on the Nominal Roll on the 22nd March. He was placed in the 7th Australian Field Ambulance unit (Field Ambulance Company, that served the 7th Brigade of the 2nd division which comprised of service to the Regimental Aid posts (RAP), where soldiers were responsible for Second line casualty evacuation in each Battalion. The injured soldiers were brought from the RAP to the Field Ambulance Advanced Dressing station to a Casualty Clearing station (CCS) where they would recuperate and recover). The 7th Australian Field Ambulance unit comprised of an army squad of 82 where injured would be hand carried, requiring at least 4 men, for 1 -2 casualties. Hand carts were used but rough ground generally meant stretchers were the best option. Frank worked as a Clerk (office worker) as well as a traveler, and embarked from Adelaide, South Australian board HMAT A2 Geelong on the 31st May 1915, and from Sydney, New South Wales on board HMAT Clan Mcewan on the 28th June 1915.

He first embarked overseas (Alexandria, Egypt) on 4th September 1915, he then continued his travel on the 4th December 1915, where he embarked to join The Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (M.E.F). On the 10th December 1915, he reported for duty from ANZAC. The following year he then disembarked from Alexandria on the 10th January 1916. He embarked overseas again to Alexandria on the 14th March 1916, 5 days later he disembarked from Marseilles, France on the 19th March 1916. On the 10th of April 1916, he reported he was admitted with Influenza in France. On the 12th April 1916, he was transferred to D.R.S. Steenwerk sick in Fort Rompu. On the 18th April 1916, he was admitted to the Casualty Clearing Station in France, and was recorded to have Cerebrospinal Meningitis in France. On the 20th April 1916, he was dangerously ill in France, and on the 24th April 1916, he died of cerebrospinal fever affecting 5 vertebrae’s. Shortly after, his body was buried in France, Longuenesse (St, Omer) Souvenir cemetery Plot III, Row B, Grave Number 6.

Frank’s and many other soldier’s main reasons for wanting to go to war was they believed it would be an experience, and an adventure to explore the world.  Many were also persuaded by the many propaganda posters that existed during that time. The posters depicted service in the army as a noble cause. they were especially popular in America, more so than in Australia, however they brought attention to many, because of these posters soldiers such as Frank were able to win three medals: The victory medal, the British war medal and the Star medal, all of which were just awarded for service in the war.

Some of the main weapons soldiers would have carried were pistols and rifles. These types of weapons were useful and common in World War 1 as they were some of the first guns invented, and were traditionally issued to officers of armies. There were many different types of pistols used all different in most countries, they were an effective firearm as they served well in cramped conditions such as small trenches, tanks, and aircraft vehicles. Pistols were handy for privates such as Frank Koster as they were small devices that were effective for close range targets. Rifles were especially effective with snipers as they had a long range and could be made silent from a sound suppressor. They had a high impact and damage on targets, however reloading in the early stages of WW1 was a problem and became less useful. Further into the 19th century the development of the weapon changed quite significantly, and eventually many different types of rifles were introduced and were kept throughout WW1.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand army corps. Some major qualities of ANZAC spirit were bravery, endurance, courage, ingenuity, humour and fellowship. Frank Koster has shown some of these qualities through his determination and dedication to the war, to protect and fight against what was wrong. Frank’s shows true spirit were bravery, courage, and fellowship. I believe these resonated with him as he was very brave at such a young age to enlist into the war. He showed courage to take part in his important role and try to succeed as best he could, and finally he showed fellowship to the citizens in Australia by sacrificing his life for his country.