This is a picture of Amy Ingram, my grandmother’s sister in 1918 wearing an AIF uniform. Presumably it belongs to their brother Robert who served on the Western Front.
My father served from 1939 to 1945 after working in the South Pacific during the 1930’s as a young man (the only work available). He came back to Australia in 1938 because he knew war was going to happen. The reason for this, so the story goes, is that being on an isolated island in the South Pacific he was one of four Europeans, one was his colleague at the plantation and the other two worked at the Cable and Wireless relay station that carried the traffic between the UK and Australia and New Zealand. My father and his colleague used to visit the two Cable and Wireless guys in their relay station taking whiskey to drink and apparently my father would sit there reading the top secret cables between the UK, Australian and New Zealand governments.
My two O’Rourke uncles (emigrants from guess where?)served with the Australian army in WWII. One was permamently disabled after capture in New Guinea and doing slave labour on the Burma-Siam railway.
My grand-uncle served in 16th Irish Division at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli in WWI.
Happy ANZAC Day.
I am a bit of an interested researcher of WW1 ANZAC history. This post and your previous one fired off a little search. Did you know that your great uncle Bob’s records can be accessed online from the Australian National Archives and there is more at the AWM?
I had a quick look, was your Great Uncle Bob actually Robert Alfred Ingram from Dubbo?
If so, his record is somewhat interesting. The picture at Brighton would line up with when he arrived in the UK (20/4/18) for training till leaving for France (22/7/18). Admitted to hospital (1/10/18), although what for is not clear. Some records suggest wounded, then “not wounded” but an undefined “disability”. There is a reference to gassing, as you believe, but no date given for that, also to bronchitis for 6 weeks, maybe post dating the gassing. Then back in Australia (1/2/19) and discharged (26/3/19) as medically unfit.
There is more info there, but what I found especially interesting was that he then re-enlisted when he got back to Australia and returned to England for about 2 months in 1919 for “special services”. I can’t really guess what these services were. I haven’t seen any other records where soldiers returned to the UK after the war. I have seen some where soldiers were discharged unfit then re-enlisted and returned during the war. I have seen some where soldiers were kept back in 1919 for winding up work, but why Bob went back, I can’t imagine. After all there would have been plenty of able bodied men already there who could have had their service extended. His enlistment forms show him as a farmer and he was always a private, so I don’t see that he had any particular skills that would have been in demand. Maybe, just maybe, something to do with Russia (?).
Also if I am right about your great uncle, in the photo of your great aunty she is almost certainly wearing Bob’s jacket. Despite what his Brighton letter said he was transferred (taken on strength) to 34 Battalion in 28/7/18. The shoulder patches of 34 Batt are oval, blue upper half, green lower half. And that _almost_ fits what I can see in the photo. Oval, with bottom half almost the same colour as the uniform. The top half appears lighter than I would have expected, but near enough.
Yes, Robert Alfred Ingram. I have a [postcard](http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/buIUVuGZJAz85cyhuZEtOA?feat=directlink) that explains what he was doing in 1919:
>Rotterdam, 19th July 1919
> Some members of the “Willochra” Guard who escorted the German internees from Holdsworthy to Holland. left Sydney 26th May 1919.
I had a great-uncle, now deceased, who contracted malaria in the South Pacific while serving the U.S. Army who was nursed back to health in an Austalian Army hospital. He told my mother that the only thing he remembered from that part of the war were the nurses running outside during a Japanese bombing raid to nail the tent stakes for the mosquito netting back down since they were getting jarred out of the ground be the blasts from the bombs and the AAA guns. In other words, he remembered Australian nurses risking their lives for their American patients. Happy ANZAC Day, espically to all of your veterans.
Happy ANZAC Day, if happiness is an appropriate wish, Tim.
When I lived in London, the first song some Australians I knew taught me to play was “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.”
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Let’s skip straight to January.