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Australian Engineer Gallipoli

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  • Australian Engineer Gallipoli

    The following photographs are of Howard Nelson Page a Gallipoli Engineer.

    I have a weathered photograph of him with some details recorded below the photograph on a card for the NSW Archives of those who enlisted from NSW in the Great War. Remarkably behind that photo and card was a beautifully preserved and much clearer photo. I show both here.

    His rank is recorded as a Sgt of Corporals, present at the landing at Gallipoli and from Dulwich Hill, NSW. He was born in Colac, Victoria and his profession was Miner - hence the Engineers. His embarkation papers for July-December 1916 show him as a Reinforcement departing for France as a sapper with the Field Company Engineers (FCE). Those papers show his previous service as being with 1st Field Company Engineers as an Acting Corporal? He enlisted 31.8.1914.

    I am just starting to research his service and any assistance appreciated and I will be going to post this on the Great War Forum as well.

    He wears brass or bronze finish cap and collar badges shown for 1900-1912 Corps of Engineers (or Australian Engineers) according to Cossum. He has three rank chevrons with a grenade badge above. He has an Australian shoulder title and one which I cannot identify above that. Cossum records no shoulder title for Corps of Engineers but AE for Australian Engineers which steers the cap and collars to Corps of Engineers. He has a unit patch on his left shoulder. He wears an On Active Service badge on his right breast pocket. He has a lanyard over his left shoulder.

    He embarked for France on HMAT Coramic at age 22.

    Assistance with his badges especially shoulder title appreciated - see enlargement.

    I think he may be a significant Gallipoli figure and he appears to have survived the war.

    Regards Dean.
    Attached Files
    www.kingscolonials.com

  • #2
    He appears to have four inverted chevrons below the grenade on his right forearm. What does this signify?

    Comment


    • #3
      Dean,

      The thing about the Ozzie is they didn't really abide by any regulations in regards badge placement. Those chevrons are most likely for good conduct, as service chevrons which denote the years served are usually a lot smaller. British soldiers wore good conduct stripes on the other arm.

      The badge on the pocket is probably the Australian Returned From Active Service badge.

      The shoulder title is in fact an engineers title: ENGRS Must be missing from your book. Not sure about this since your picture is the size of a postage stamp, you need to check the papers for units served.
      Last edited by Jibba Jabba; 10-08-11, 12:47 PM.
      Mr Kipling - Exceedingly good badge books.

      Comment


      • #4
        Apologies Mike indeed four inverted chevrons, Sgt of Corporals is the rank shown on the card, cheers Dean.
        www.kingscolonials.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Jibba-Jabba,

          Yes fits that he is back from Gallipoli and off to France and has the rank of sapper on embarkation to France but was a Sgt at Gallipoli - story to be told there and has Returned from Active Service Badge. Good Conduct chevrons but to go from Sgt to Sapper? Yes ENGRS title fits and makes sense.
          www.kingscolonials.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Since you have not shown the papers it hard for me to know what the circumstances are. Demotion in rank does not always occur because you were a naughty boy. It was common place in the Australian army at that time to relinquish rank at own request to be with ones 'cobbers',
            Mr Kipling - Exceedingly good badge books.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry Jibba Jabba the only notes I have on him come from 1916 Embarkation roll and from what the card has written on it.
              www.kingscolonials.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Great picture - here's some info about him.

                Regimental number R89
                Religion Church of England
                Occupation Carpenter
                Address Sydney, New South Wales
                Marital status Single
                Age at embarkation 22
                Next of kin Mother, Mrs K Ross, C/o Mrs F Fitzgerald, 130 Waddell Street, Dulwich Hill, Sydney, New South Wales
                Enlistment date 31 August 1914
                Rank on enlistment Sapper
                Unit name September 1916 Reinforcements
                AWM Embarkation Roll number 14/42/2
                Embarkation details Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 7 October 1916
                Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll) Name does not appear on Nominal Roll

                His service record is here:

                http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scrip....asp?B=8000550

                Mick
                Looking for Australian military books?

                Regimental Books - Australian Unit History specialists

                Chasing militaria? I recommend:

                Militaria Online - Australian Militaria Sales

                Comment


                • #9
                  Perhaps I am missing something here? He enlisted in August 1914 and left Australia in October 1916 - and is reported to have served at Gallipoli. Was it normal for troops bound for the Middle East and then, possibly, Gallipoli to reurn to Australia prior to being despatched to France? It seems somewhat illogical.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think troops would have been returned to Australia from Egypt only if they were wounded or bad boys (VD cases!).

                    I haven't looked at his service record yet - however, if you examine that,vit should give you an idea why he would have returned as all Australian WW1 soldier's movements and activities were recorded in their service records.

                    Mick
                    Looking for Australian military books?

                    Regimental Books - Australian Unit History specialists

                    Chasing militaria? I recommend:

                    Militaria Online - Australian Militaria Sales

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hi mike and guys
                      if you read his service docs thanks to slick micks link, you will see he was wia gallipoli 14/7/15. he was admitted to various military hospitals on lemnos, then malta then london. returned from england to australia 7/11/15 with shock and injured spine.
                      he then returns to england 7/10/16 and then france with the AE.
                      it would seem he was never discharged medically unfit which i would have thought would have been normal if returned home and then re enlist. but he doesnt as he keeps the same number.
                      bc

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Many thanks all. The full record of service is fascinating - after the Gallipoli, Mudros, Malta, Lewisham and repatriation experience it would seem that he spent much of 1916 back in Australian recovering from his back injuries. He seems to have made a full recovery since in November 1916 he disembarked at Plymouth en route to France. He must have been one of the few to make two return trips from Australia to Europe - and survive all that to be discharged relatively intact.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi all,

                          A bloke goes to work for the day and you chaps uncover so much information! Fantastic. Read his service record and what a story indeed. The writing is pretty hard to read on the original Archive card so I had the rank wrong, his service record has his red and blue chevrons noted.

                          Will have to read again, so Engineers wore their own badges overseas and not a Rising Sun.

                          Much of interest and special thanks to Mick for the service record, cheers Dean.
                          www.kingscolonials.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Badge worn by AIF member

                            Hi

                            Forgive me if this has already been said but I think that this is NOT aa RAS (Returned from Active Service) badge.
                            I think that it is a Returned Soldiers Association (NSW) badge. they are of similar shape,material and size, but the centre has the large, pierced letters "RSA" in the centre.
                            From memory, the outer rim has "New South Wales". They can be both pin-back and with two loops and usually bear a number.
                            I have a heavily polished one which has had the name "S. Sutton" engraved on it.
                            Your "man" is an NSW enlistee so this sort of backs up my theory. I also suggest a pin-back version as there would be unlikely to be a place for a looped badge without putting holes in your nice uniform!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Many thanks for the observation on the NSW Returned soldiers association badge - fits nicely, cheers Dean.
                              www.kingscolonials.com

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