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: Blumberg, 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 (GSW thigh), Polygon Wood, Belgium, 24 September 1917, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Plot XXV (25), Row F, Grave No 2. His name is located at panel 179 in the Commemorative Area at the AWM
Memorials: Adelaide Elder Smith & Co Limited WW1 Honour Board, Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Birdwood Blumerg (Blumberg) Roll of Honor, 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, SN 327, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Keswick, South Australia
16 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 327, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 327, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT A2 Geelong
11 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 327, 8th Machine Gun Company
1 Jun 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 8th Machine Gun Company
23 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 327, 8th Machine Gun Company, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
19 Sep 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 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
Date unknown: Involvement 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

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


Father Heinrich Adam Theodor Pflaum  and  Mother  Mary Jane Pflaum  (nee Theel)
living in Blumberg (now called Birdwood), South Australia.

Siblings in service:
Brother    #1591 Captain  Elliott Frederick Pflaum
                3rd Light Horse Regiment
                returned to Australia on 6/5/1919

Brother    #161 Private  Raymond Holstein Pflaum
                32nd Battalion
                died  24/11/1916  at Fleurbaix, from wounds received in actioin at Fromelles

Previous service:   2 years served in the 79th Infantry Battalion, Senior Cadets
                             transferred to Machine Gun Section, 79th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces
                             before the outbreak of the First World War, still serving at time of AIF enlistment.

Described on enlisting as 19 years 10 months old; single; 5' 8 1/2" tall; 154 lbs; medium
complexion; hazel eyes; dark hair; Baptist.

16/7/1915        completed medical - fit for service

16/8/1915        Commanding Officer appointed Theodor to A Company, 32nd Battalion, Mitcham Camp

21/7/1915        Along with his brother Raymond Holstein Pflaum, Theodor enlisted at Keswick, SA

***Their older brother, Elliot Frederick Pflaum, enlisted about a month later on 24/8/1915
and was assigned to the 9th Light Horse Regiment.

Theodor and Raymond Pflaum were assigned to the 32nd Battalion and embarked together.

18/11/1915      Embarked from Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide, on board HMAT A2 Geelong
                        as a Private with C Company, 32nd Battalion
18/12/1915      disembarked into Suez, Egypt

Shortly after arriving in Egypt for training, Theodor was transferred to the 8th Machine Gun Company.

9/3/1916          transferred to 8th Australian Machine Gun Company
11/3/1916        taken on strength  8th Australian Machine Gun Company, Tel El Kebir

31/5/1916        Admitted to 8th Field Ambulance - diarrhoea
2/6/1916          discharged to unit

1/6/1916          Promoted to Corporal

16/6/1916        Embarked Alexandria to join British Expeditionary Force, on board Tunisian
23/6/1916        disembarked into Marseilles, France

Theodor wrote of finding his injured brother Raymond in a dugout, as he was moving into position
during the Battle of Fromelles on 19/7/1916. He wrote:-

"While the men were getting their wind, my attention was drawn to a wounded
man alongside of me just along a dugout. It was Ray … He was quite conscious
and by his appearance didn’t seem to be hit too badly … I managed to get him
a flask of whisky … and a mouthful of that seemed to make his spirits go up …
I asked a 32nd fellow … to do his best for Ray while he could. I then made my
way down to find a position for my gun.."

**** Raymond died of his wounds later that night.
      His body was not recovered until 2010, when his remains were found during the excavation
      of a mass grave at Pheasant Wood. ****

1/9/1916         appointed Sergeant

10/2/1917       Transferred to AIF Training Depot, England
                       transferred to 25th Machine Gun Company

Feb 1917        Promoted 2nd Lieutenant

27/5/1917       Attached to 3rd Training Battalion from Perham Downs, England
                       for bombing instruction, England

14/7/1917       Qualified as suitable to act as Instructor at Revolver School, Wareham, England

5/9/1917         Proceeded overseas to France
7/9/1917         disembarked into Havre, France

24/9/1917       Theodor, along with four other officers, was sent with 50 men to establish machine gun
                       Whilst supervising the sending of forward material to advanced positions he was shot
                       in the thigh, resulting in a compound fracture.

24/9/1917       admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance
24/9/1917       transferred same day to 10th Casualty Clearing Station

24/9/1917       Sadly, Theodore died on his way to the Casualty Clearing Station
                       Polygon Wood, Belgium

buried in:         Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
                        Plot XXV (25), Row F, Grave No 2

WWI 1914-15 Star (24582), British War medal (35994), Victory Medal (35724)
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (357138).

(Birth record - Father : Heinrich Adam Theodor PFLAUM. Mother: Mary Jane THEEL. Source: South Australian Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 573 Page: 321 District: Tal.)

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  9/12/2014.  Lest we forget.


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.