Eugene Gilbert MOLINEUX

MOLINEUX, Eugene Gilbert

Service Number: 292
Enlisted: 14 July 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 8th Machine Gun Company
Born: Tarlee, South Australia, 14 March 1888
Home Town: Tarlee, Clare and Gilbert Valleys, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: School Teacher
Died: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 10 September 1971, aged 83 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide High School Honour Board, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Kent Town Wesleyan Methodist Church WW1 Honour Roll, Riverton Holy Trinity Anglican Church Honour Roll WW1, South Australian Education Department Roll of Honour, Tarlee War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

14 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, 292, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, aboard the HMAT A2 Geelong.
1 Mar 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 292, 32nd Infantry Battalion, German Spring Offensive 1918
13 Jan 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 292, 5th Machine Gun Battalion
1 May 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 292, 8th Machine Gun Company
29 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, 292
Date unknown: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 292, 5th Machine Gun Battalion

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Biography contributed by Adelaide Botanic High School

Eugene Gilbert Molineux was born on the 14th of March 1888 in the town Tarlee, Clare and Gilbert Valleys, South Australia; to parents Augustus Leppard Molineux (father), and Annie Mary Jane Molineux (mother – maiden name Main); being one of eleven children. Little is known regarding his early life prior to his enlistment in the war, other than the fact his father died when Eugene was only a mere nineteen years old - explaining why his mother was listed as his ‘next of kin’ on all of his enlistment forms. Molineux seemed to live a humble life prior to his enlistment, following the Methodist religion and being a school teacher by occupation. He had a clean record, with no previous convictions from civil power at the time of his enlistment. Nor had he ever been discharged, convicted of felony, faced a sentence of penal servitude, or been dismissed with disgrace from the navy. As stated upon his description in his enlistment forms, Eugene possessed a dark complexion, with brown eyes and dark hair. At 5ft 3 ¼ inches tall, Eugene weighed 123 pounds – approximately 56 kilograms. 

Prior to his enlistment, Eugene had little experience in the military, apart from one year of voluntary cadets in Port Pirie, South Australia. At 27 3/12 years old, on the 14th of July 1915, he enlisted. Four months later, on the 18th of November, 1915, his unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, aboard the HMAT A2 Geelong. His unit name was the 32nd Battalion, D company; with other young men from his unit embarking on another ship – the HMAT A13 ‘Katuna’ – just a few days after, on the 24th of November 1915. 

From the time of his enlistment - the 14th of July, 1915 - until he received a position promotion, Molineux fought side by side with his fellow soldiers in the 32nd Infantry Battalion. His service number was 292, and he served in Egypt – against the Ottoman Empire - and in the German Spring Offensive (France; 01/03/1918 – 31/05/1918). 

On the 9th of April, 1917, Eugene was admitted ‘sick to hospital’; as listed upon his medical records. The sickness was minor, and after a few days, he was discharged to duty and re-joined the 32nd Infantry Battalion unit in France.

On the 13th of January, 1919, Molineux left his previous unit – the 32nd Infantry Battalion – and served in the 5th Machine Gun Battalion promoted to a  Corporal. He served in this unit until the 30th of April, 1919. Eugene later transferred to the 8th M.G COY (8th Machine Gun Company) between the months of May and June, 1919. 

Molineux commenced his return to Australia on the 10th of June, 1919, aboard the ‘Port Lyttleton’. He disembarked in Adelaide, South Australia on the 6th of August, 1919. Fairly healthy, his medical record – signed on the 7th of August, 1919 – stated that ‘he feels quite well, except for some pain in the left side of his chest due to contusion of the back of the boat coming out’. Now thirty years old, he served for a month further - as agreed upon his enlistment forms – before being discharged on the 29th of September, 1919. He obtained two medals for his service: the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

On the 19th of November, 1919, Molineux married Marion Maie Gerrie. They went on to have two children; Ronald Eugene Molineux - born 1921 - and Leonard Neil Molineux - born 1923.

Eugene Gilbert Molineux passed away on the 10th of September, 1971, in Adelaide, South Australia. At eighty-three years old, he had lived a long and fulfilling life. The details of his burial whereabouts are currently unknown. 

The memory of Molineux remains through the multiple memorials with his name. These include:

-          Adelaide High School Honour Board

-         Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll

-         Kent Town Wesleyan Methodist Church WW1 Honour Roll

-         Riverton Holy Trinity Anglican Church Honour Roll WW1

-         South Australian Education Department Roll of Honour

-         Tarlee War Memorial