Aubrey Jesse WHITTINGTON MM

WHITTINGTON, Aubrey Jesse

Service Number: 400
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kelmscott, Western Australia, 21 June 1893
Home Town: Brookton, Brookton, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: farnhand
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World War 1 Service

22 Dec 1914: Involvement Private, SN 400, 16th Infantry Battalion
22 Dec 1914: Embarked Private, SN 400, 16th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Melbourne

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Biography

Born in Kelmscott, Western Australia on 21 Jun 1893, he was 21 years and 3 months of age at enlistment on 3 Oct 1914.  Aubrey was working as a farmhand on 'Oakland' near Brookton before enlistment, and returned there on discharge in 1919.  A condition of his enlistment was that he was required to acquire a duplicate set of false teeth.

 

Initially allocated to E Coy 16th Battalion, Aubrey was WIA by a GSW to the left shoulder on 3 May 1915 at the Dardanelles requiring evacuation to 1AGH.  He re-joined the Battalion in late August before suffering an injury to the Bronchial Plexes that required him to be evacuated again, this time to 3rd General Hospital on Mudros on 27 Sep 1915.  Following treatment and a period in Weymouth he joins the battalion in France in August 1916.

 

Aubrey suffers several bouts of influenza which require him to spend time in hospital and rehabilitation between November 1916 and 13 Feb 1917 when he re-joins the 16th Bn for the last time.

 

The next time the battalion enters the front lines it was for the 1st Battle of Bullecourt on 11th April 1917.   Aubrey is one of more than 300 Australians captured in front of Reincourt having penetrated the Hindenburg Line trenches OG1 and OG2.  With others, he was treated by the Germans as a Prisoner of Respite in protest at the British holding and working German POWs within artillery range of the German lines.

 

Repatriated to England after escaping from the Germans into Holland (a neutral country) he arrived in England on 17 Nov 1918 and was sent home to Australia aboard the Ulysses which left England on 18 Jan 1919, and arrived in Fremantle on 24 Feb 1919.  Aubrey was discharged on the 2nd May 1919 by the 5th Military District.

 

As an escaped POW, Aubrey was awarded a Military Medal in the London Gazette No. 32231 dated 18th February 1921.

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