Louis Rupert (Louie) MUMFORD

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MUMFORD, Louis Rupert

Service Number: 3824
Enlisted: 1 September 1915, Adelaide, S.A.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Aldinga, South Australia, Australia , 5 December 1896
Home Town: Aldinga, Onkaparinga, South Australia
Schooling: Aldinga Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 11 August 1918, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Heath Cemetery, Picardie
VII. C. 17.
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Aldinga WW1 & WW2 Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

1 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN 3824, Adelaide, S.A.
2 Dec 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3824, 10th Infantry Battalion
2 Dec 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3824, 10th Infantry Battalion, RMS Malwa, Adelaide
20 Sep 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 3824, 10th Infantry Battalion, GSW Right Forearm
11 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3824, 10th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Georgia WHEATLEY

Private Louis Rupert Mumford was born on the 5th of December, 1896 in Aldinga, South Australia and was one of eight children born to Charles and Ellen Mumford. Private Louis Mumford’s next of kin is Father Charles Friend Mumford.

 

Louis had a very dark completion, brown eyes and dark hair and was 5 foot, 2 inches tall.  He was a member of the Church of England and worked on his family owned farm in Aldinga.

 

On the 19th of September, 1914 when Louis was 18 years and 3 months old he enlisted in the Army to serve in the First World War.  On the 2nd of December, 1915 he left Adelaide on board RMS Malwa for his deployment in Europe. Louis’ Regimental number was 3824 and he was the first person from Aldinga to enlist in the Army.

 

On the 20th of September, 1917 Louis was shot in his forearm while serving on the Western Front.  As a result of this injury he was admitted to Eastbourne Military Hospital on the 23rd of September, 1917 and then on the 19/10/1917 he was sent to Weymouth to recover.

 

On the 6th of February, 1918 Louis re-joined the 10th battalion.  Unfortunately, only a few days later on the 11th of February, 1918 Louis was hospitalised for sickness and didn’t re-join his battalion until the 17th of February, 1918.

 

Sadly, on the 11th of August, 1918 Louis was killed in action while serving in France. Seven weeks after Louis was killed he was buried in the Heath Cemetery, Picardie, France on the 24th of September, 1918. His grave location is plot VII, row C, grave 17 and his name appears on panel 60 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Private Louis Mumford was only 12 months off returning home.

 

After Louis was killed the Australian Imperial Forces sent his personal belongings home to his father and next of kin, Charles Mumford. These belongings contained 3 woollen scarves, 1 pair of knee pads, 4 books, 2 hair brushes in leather case, 10 handkerchiefs, 3 abdominal belts, 1 devotional book, 1 wallet and playing cards.

 

Louis served in Egypt, England, France and Belgium. The battalion’s first major battle in France was at Pozieres in the Somme Valley. After Pozieres the battalion fought at Ypres in Flanders before returning to Somme in the winter of 1917.  The battalion then returned to Belgium to take part in the major British offensive – The Third Battle of Ypres. In August, 1918 the battalion was fighting near Amiens which is where it is thought Louis was killed during the battle of Lihons. The battle of Lihons was quite fierce and records suggest the town was taken in one day. The battalion received most of their medals in the battle of Lihons.

 

Louis was awarded the Pip, Squeak and Wilfred medal set during his service. These medals are awarded as a set and include the 1914-15 Star medal, British War medal 1914-18 and the Victory medal and are worn in the order shown below.

 

From a very young age Louis gave up the security of his family and farm to serve as a soldier in countries far from home. Louis was wounded and suffered illness but kept returning to his battalion to continue his duty. Sadly, Louis made the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed in action and was never to return home.  Like so many others Louis was rewarded with service medals and a plaque in the Australian War Memorial and his sacrifices will always be remembered and honoured.

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