Theodor Milton PFLAUM

PFLAUM, Theodor Milton

Service Number: 327
Enlisted: 21 July 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 8th Machine Gun Company
Born: Birdwood, South Australia, 20 September 1895
Home Town: Birdwood (formerly Blumberg), Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk (Elder, Smith, Goldsbourough, Mort)
Died: Died of Wounds, Polygon Wood, Belgium, 24 September 1917, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Plot XXV (25), Row F, Grave No 2
Memorials: Adelaide Elder Smith & Co Limited WW1 Honour Board, Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Birdwood Blumberg Roll of Honor, Birdwood Pictorial Honour Roll WW1, Birdwood WW1 & WW2 Soldier's Memorial, Gumeracha Our Fallen Heroes WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

21 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 327, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Keswick, South Australia
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 327, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT A2 Geelong
11 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 327, 8th Machine Gun Company
1 Jun 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 8th Machine Gun Company
23 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 327, 8th Machine Gun Company, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
19 Sep 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 327, 8th Machine Gun Company, Battle for Pozières
12 Feb 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 8th Machine Gun Company
7 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 8th Machine Gun Company, Third Ypres
24 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 8th Machine Gun Company, Polygon Wood

Help us honour Theodor Milton Pflaum's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Rachel Hockley


Biography By Rachel Hockley:

Theodor Milton Pflaum was born on the 20th of September 1895. He was brought up in a small town called Blumberg which is now known as Birdwood. Theodor had 2 other brothers; Captain Elliot Frederick, Elliot was part of the Light Horse Regiment and Pte Raymond Holstein Pflaum of the 32nd battalion. Unfortunately, of the three brothers only one returned, Raymond died whilst a prisoner of war and Elliot returned.

As an unmarried man, at the age of nineteen and ten months, 5ft 8½“ and 154lbs he enlisted to go to war on the 21st of July 1915 at Keswick, South Australia. As he was over the legal age of enlistment he didn’t need to have consent to go however he his father Heinrich Adam Pflaum signed the enlistment paper giving his consent 

On 18.11.1915 Theodor set sail from Outer Harbour Port Adelaide, South Australia on-board the HMAT A2 “Geelong”. He then disembarked at Suez, Egypt on 16.12.1915. Theodor was then transferred to 8th Machine Gun Coy. at Tel el Kebir, Egypt. Theodor embarked the HMAT “Tunisia” to join the British Expeditionary Force ex Alexandrina on the 16.6.1916. He then disembarked at Marseilles on 23.6.1916.

Theodor was in the “A” Coy 32nd battalion between the 16.8.1915 to 15.10.1915 and then was in the “C” Coy battalion between the 16.10.1915 to the 31.5.1916. On the 31.5.1916 to the 3.6.16 he was sick so the 8th field ambulance then admitted him to hospital in Moascar, Egypt with diarrhoea   He was then transferred to the 8th Machine Gun Coy on the 11.3.1916. On the 1st of June he was promoted to Corporal on field and three months later he became Sergeant. Theodor then became the 2nd lieutenant on the 10.3.1917. On the 10.7.1917 he was transferred to the 25th Machine Gun Coy.

Unfortunately, Theodor Milton Pflaum died two months after he was transferred to the 25th Machine Gun Coy.  On the 24th of September 1917 whilst in Belgium he sustained fatal wounds at the age of 22. He was admitted to the S.W Comp with a shrapnel wound resulting in a compound fractured left thigh, where he was declared dead on admission. He is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Lijssenthoek Flanders Belgium.

Posthumously Theodor was awarded three medals the Star Medal issued on the 11th of December 1920, the British War Medal issued on the 29th of the December 1921 and he was also awarded the Victory Medal given on the 27th of February 1923.


Biography contributed

Biography written by Dakoto Lloyd, Loxton High School, SA attached as a document. Winning entry for 2021 Premier's Anzac Spirit School Prize.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

AWM History / Summary
Born in Blumberg (now Birdwood) South Australia, Theodor Milton Pflaum was employed as a clerk prior to enlistment in the 32nd Battalion, on 21 July 1915. As 327 Private Pflaum, he embarked with C Company from Adelaide on 18 November 1915 aboard HMAT Geelong (A2) for Suez.

In Egypt Pflaum was transferred to the 8th Machine Gun Company on 30 May 1916 and promoted to Corporal the next day. His unit relocated the Western Front, France, during June 1916. His company took part in the disastrous battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July during which he came across his dying brother, Raymond, who had remained with 32nd Battalion. Writing in his diary after the battle he described it as 'the worst day in my life by miles so far'.

Pflaum was promoted to Sergeant on 1 September 1916. On 10 February 1917 he was transferred to the AIF Training Depot in England and promoted to Second Lieutenant. While in England he was transferred to the 25th Australian Machine Gun Company and then attached to the 3rd Training Battalion for bombing instruction and to the Revolver School where he qualified as Instructor. He embarked with his unit from Southampton on 7 September 1917 for France and then to Belgium. Pflaum was mortally wounded at Polygon Wood, Belgium, during the Third Battle of Ypres on 24 September 1917 and died later that day at the 10th (British) Casualty Clearing Station from the effects of a compound fracture to his left thigh. He was 22 years old. He is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.