Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

28 March 2010

The Broadbent clan of Cherry Gardens

Just finished doing the basic research on the six Broadbent boys from Cherry Gardens. They appear to have all been brothers or cousins:

Private Albert George Broadbent, 5th Pioneer Battalion: killed in action at Bullecourt, France 10 May 1917. Brother of Marshall Broadbent below.

Private Ralph Leslie Broadbent, 43rd Battalion, killed in action near Messines, Belgium 31 July 1917

Sapper Marshall Broadbent, 3rd Tunnelling Company, survived the war but died in an explosives accident at the Golden Horseshoe mine near Kalgoorlie, WA in 1940. Brother of Albert George Broadbent above.

Private Leland Keith Broadbent, 48th Battalion, survived the war and died aged 82 in 1980. Brother of Lindsay (Reg) Broadbent and Rowland Broadbent below.

Private Lindsay Reginald Broadbent, 32nd Battalion, wounded twice, lost one or both legs as a result, survived the war, died aged 85 in 1975. Brother of Leland Keith Broadbent above, and Rowland Broadbent below.

Corporal Rowland Broadbent, 11th Field Ambulance, gassed, survived war, Methodist clergyman, died in 1947 aged approximately 66. Brother of Leland Keith and Lindsay Reginald Broadbent above.

There is also Sapper Harry Franklin Broadbent, MM of the 2nd Divisional Signals Company who survived the war but apparently took his own life a few years later. Harry was a brother of Marshall and Albert George Broadbent above, but I can't find a link with Cherry Gardens for him.

I will be writing to the 'Cherry Chatter' team at Cherry Gardens to see if there is any more they can add.

18 March 2010

Private Albert George Broadbent of Cherry Gardens

Albert Broadbent was a son of Harry Broadbent and Agnes Broadbent (nee Mackereth) and was born at Cherry Gardens, SA in 1879. He attended Cherry Gardens Public School, but the family must have moved to Western Australia around the turn of the century. Before he enlisted Albert was a farm labourer, well sinker and miner and was living in Dowerin, WA.

He enlisted on 3 April 1916 at the age of 36, and was allocated to the 6th reinforcements to the 5th Pioneer Battalion which embarked at Fremantle, WA on 30 October 1916. After two months training in England Albert joined the 5th Pioneer Battalion on 7 March 1917. Two months later, two days before his 37th birthday, Albert and the rest of 'Don' Company, 5th Pioneer Battalion took over a camp occupied by the 2nd Pioneer Battalion near Bapaume, France. On the night of 9/10 May 1917 and during the following day, while the Second Battle of Bullecourt raged nearby, artillery shells hit the camp, including one shell that made a direct hit on one of the 'Don' Company tents. That single shell killed 12 members of 'Don' Company and wounded a further 23. One of those killed was Albert Broadbent.

Albert was buried in the Vaulx Hill Cemetery (the picture of Albert's grave was taken by Don Watton of Cherry Gardens). His name is inscribed on the Cherry Gardens War Memorial, the Cherry Gardens Methodist (Uniting) Church roll of honour (as AC Broadbent), a stained glass window in the Cherry Gardens Methodist (Uniting) Church, and the Cherry Gardens, Iron Bank, Dorset Vale Districts honour roll.

On 17 March 1919 a photograph of Albert George Broadbent was unveiled at the Cherry Gardens Public School alongside photographs of ten other former students who paid the supreme sacrifice.
Photograph: Courtesy of Don Watton

13 March 2010

Lieutenant Horace Lionel Billing of Coromandel Valley

Horace Billing was born in Mount Gambier, SA on New Year's Eve 1891 to Clara Eleanor Billing. He attended school in Mount Gambier, finishing his high school days in 1910. He worked as a student teacher at several schools over the next few years, including Mount Templeton, Hummock's Hill (Whyalla) and Thebarton. In December 1915 he received his senior certificate from the Public Examinations Board and it is believed he was teaching at Coromandel Valley Public School when he enlisted in March 1916.

Horace attended non-commissioned officer training in Adelaide in May and June 1916 and was allocated to the 6th reinforcements to the 50th Battalion in October 1916. He sailed for the UK in late October 1916 as an acting sergeant (probably due to his age and status as a teacher), but reverted to the ranks upon arrival in England a few days before his 25th birthday. His leadership skills must have been obvious as he was promoted to provisional corporal after a few days and attended more non-commissioned officer training before he was sent to France where he joined the 50th Battalion on 13 May 1917. Less than two weeks later Horace was promoted to lance corporal, and he served during the Battle of Messines from 7-12 June 1917. In July he was promoted to corporal, and in September the battalion was again heavily engaged during the Battle of Zonnebeke on 26 September 1917. A few weeks later he was sent for officer training, and after further training rejoined his unit on 17 April 1918 as a second lieutenant, and was allocated command 10 Platoon, 'Cork' Company.

Early on the morning of 24 April 1918, the German spring offensive hit the frontline east of Villers-Bretonneux. 10 Platoon were roused from their billets in the village of Daours at 5am to participate in a counter-attack to recapture the town, but didn't move off until after 11am. As they marched to link up with the 49th Battalion, 'Cork' Company was hit by a number of German 'whizz bang' shells, one of which struck very close to Horace causing a serious head wound. He was promoted to lieutenant on 14 May whilst he was recuperating, and rejoined the 50th Battalion on 12 June 1918 whilst they were back in the frontline near Daours. On 8 July the Battalion was involved in the Battle of Hamel, then between 8-10 August they attacked along the Bray-Corbie Road as part of the Battle of Amiens. Horace went on leave in the UK in September, followed by a further training stint at the gas school before the war ended.

After the war ended Horace was initially detached as a finance officer at the Australian Corps School before being granted six months leave to attend language courses at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Rome University. Before he embarked to return to Australia he also visited schools in Scotland. He finally returned to South Australia in February 1920 and his appointment as an officer was terminated in April 1920. At first he lived in Malvern with his mother, but was moved around to various locations as a school teacher then school inspector. During the Second World War Horace served as a lieutenant in the 4th Garrison Battalion between June 1940 and February 1944. He was living in Lamaroo when he volunteered. In the 1950's the Billings lived in both Goodwood Park and Mount Pleasant, and they were living at Glengowrie when his wife Irene died in 1969. Horace marched with his former battalion comrades on ANZAC Day, often catching up over a drink at the Crown and Sceptre hotel afterwards. Horace passed away on 6 December 1976 at the age of 84 and was cremated at Centennial Park. His name is inscribed on the Coromandel Valley Public School roll of honour and the Unley Town Hall Honour Board.
Photograph: Courtesy of State Records of South Australia

09 March 2010

Private Thomas William Alley of Belair

Tom Alley was the son of William Alfred and Thirza Alley and was born at Belair in 1897. He attended Brownhill Creek Public School and worked as a gardener. Tom served in the junior and senior cadets before the war.

He enlisted on 24 August 1915 at the age of 18, and although he sailed with the 13th reinforcements to the 16th Battalion in January 1916, he was subsequently transferred to and joined the 48rd Battalion in Egypt in early April 1916. After spending some time in the trenches guarding the Suez canal, the battalion entrained for Alexandria and sailed to Marseilles in early June. Over the next month the 48th Battalion was engaged in static trench warfare, generally spending two weeks in then two weeks out of the frontline. However, between 5 and 7 August 1916 the 48th Battalion held ground in the village of Pozieres during what has been described as the heaviest artillery barrage ever experienced by Australian troops. During those three days the 48th Battalion suffered 104 killed, 418 wounded and 76 missing. Sometime on the second day of that barrage Tom was wounded in the left leg and didn't rejoin his unit until 11 September 1916. The day Tom returned to the battalion it was in reserve, and his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Ray Leane arranged for the picture hall in the village of Poperinghe to screen a movie for the men. Two weeks later the battalion returned to the frontline for another stint in the trenches.

After the terrible winter of 1916/17, the 48th Battalion fought its first major action of 1917 during the Battle of Bullecourt on 11 April when the battalion captured a section of the Hindenburg Line but was forced to withdraw due to the failure of the supporting tanks. In June the battalion participated in the second stage of the Battle of Messines. Later that year the 48th Battalion were involved in the abortive attack on Passchendaele on 12 October 1917 when more than half the battalion became casualties. Tom was wounded again on 20 October 1917 as the battalion moved into support trenches, but he stayed on duty.

From mid-February until early July 1918 Tom went absent without leave twice, and with a stint in hospital and some time undergoing punishment following a court martial he didn't rejoin his unit until early July 1918. In late September, after a further stint of absence, he was promoted to lance corporal and detached to the brigade signals school for training until early November 1918. Between January and May 1919 Tom went absent without leave on four separate occasions, and was court martialled once again. He finally sailed for Australia in July, arriving in Adelaide in August and was discharged in October 1919.

After the war Tom apparently lived in Torrensville for some time, and died on 30 September 1989 at the age of 93 and was buried at Centennial Park. His name was inscribed on the Roll of Honour at All Hallows Anglican Church on Coromandel Parade, Blackwood, and the Brownhill Creek Public School Roll of Honour. When she sent his photograph in to the State Library in the 1920's, his mother Jean described him as 'a dinkum Digger'. Translated into today's language (as much as that is possible), I think that means he was 'a bit of a lad'.
Photograph: Courtesy of State Records of South Australia and Miss Jean Alley of Belair

07 March 2010

Private Ralph Leslie Broadbent of Cherry Gardens

Ralph Leslie Broadbent was a son of Henry Field Broadbent and Mary Hill Broadbent (nee Hughes), and was born at Wandearah, SA (south of Port Pirie) in 1895. He attended Victor Harbor Public School, was a keen sportsman and worked as a farmer before the war.

He enlisted on 16 June 1916 at the age of 20, and after a short stint in a training unit in England, joined 'Cork' Company of the 43rd Battalion in France in January 1917. After several months of static trench warfare, Ralph fought in his first major action during the Battle of Messines in June 1917.

On 31 July 1917, the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, the 43rd Battalion was ordered to capture six German posts near Warneton, Belgium. 'Cork' Company was tasked to capture three of the posts, and took many casualties during the capture of one located in a ruined windmill. During the attack or the subsequent German and Australian counter-attacks, Ralph was killed in action. 44 members of the battalion were killed that day. His body could not be located after the battle, and his name is inscribed on panel 27 of the Menin Gate Memorial near Ypres, Belgium, along with many other Australians with no known grave.

After the war the town of Whyalla (previously called Hummock's Hill) named a street (Broadbent Terrace) in his honour. His name is also inscribed on the State National Memorial, the Whyalla memorial and the Cherry Gardens Methodist Church Roll of Honour. In describing her son for the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Mary Broadbent quoted from a letter sent to her by Ralph's platoon commander in which he described him as 'a splendid companion to have nearby when things were hot, who always set a splendid example of cheerfulness, even under most adverse conditions'.

Photograph: Courtesy State Records of South Australia

06 March 2010

Private Harold Braley of Belair

Harold Braley was born in Liverpool, England in 1895 and was raised in the same area, serving with 1st Liverpool Western Cavalry Volunteer Cadets in his teens. He emigrated to Australia and by the age of 20 he had married and was living with his wife Ruby at Karrob Lodge, Belair, and working as a motor driver.

He enlisted on 18 August 1915, and embarked for overseas service on 11 January 1916 with the 13th reinforcements for the 12th Battalion. Upon arrival in Egypt he joined the 52nd Battalion on 3 March 1916. A few weeks later he was admitted to hospital with a serious middle ear infection, and was consequently invalided back to Australia for that reason in May 1916. After six weeks at Keswick Hospital he was discharged for deafness on 23 August 1916, just over a year after he enlisted.

On 12 June 1918 he died of meningitis at Keswick Hospital at the age of 23. The meningitis was found to have been aggravated by his service. By this time his wife Ruby had given birth to a child, and in 1920 Ruby Ann Braley applied for a widow's living allowance. Harold Braley's name is inscribed on the honour roll at All Hallows Anglican Church, Coromandel Parade, Blackwood.
Photograph: Courtesy State Records of South Australia and Miss Jean Alley of Belair

03 March 2010

Private Frank Leslie Ougden of Blackwood

Frank Ougden was the only son of Elizabeth Ougden (nee Chivell). He was born in 1893 at Alberton, and his father Charles James Ougden died when Frank was only one year old. At some point before the war his mother moved to Blackwood. After his schooling, Frank found work as a hardware assistant. Before the war he was an active member of the Anglican parish which included Blackwood, Belair and Coromandel Valley.

He enlisted on 26 August 1915 at the age of 22, and was allocated to the 2nd reinforcements of the 32nd Battalion. When he arrived in Egypt in February 1916 he was transferred to the 48th Battalion, which sailed to France in June 1916.

The 48th Battalion's first major battle in France was at Pozieres where, along with the rest of the 4th Division, it was responsible for defending positions previously captured by the 2nd Division. Over the period 5-7 August 1916, the battalion was hit by one of the longest and heaviest artillery barrages ever faced by Australian troops. During those three days the 48th Battalion suffered 104 killed, 418 wounded and 76 missing. On the evening of 6 August, 'Don' Company of the battalion, of which Frank was a member, relieved 'Ack' and 'Beer' Companies in the frontline, which by then consisted of open shell holes with no connecting trenches. During the following day Frank Ougden suffered shrapnel wounds to his left wrist, left thigh and spine.

Frank was evacuated to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, but died the following day and was buried at Puchevillers British Cemetery. He was 23 years old.

His name is inscribed on the Blackwood Soldiers' Memorial and an honour roll in Holy Innocents' Church, Coromandel Parade, Blackwood, as well as the State National War Memorial, North Terrace, Adelaide.

Photograph: Courtesy State Records of South Australia