I collect stories about the soldiers who embarked from Folkestone in the First World War. Some apart from their name I know nothing about. Others a wee bit more. All of these soldiers served in the Australian Imperial Force. All embarked at the Harbour Arm on the 25th April 1917. Some were killed in action. Some survived the war. Some have no known graves others have known graves. At least two could claim to be Americans by birth. One from San Francisco, the other from Colorado.
Private 4632 Roy Arthur, ex 8th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Part of 12th Reinforcements 30th Battalion. Marched into 5 Australian Division Base Depot on the 26th, and joined 30th Battalion in the Field on the 30th April.2
Private 2537 Arthur James Beal, ex 11th Training Battalion Australian Imperial Force, part of part of 5th reinforcement 43rd Battalion.3
Private 6286 James Jack Brown, ex 5th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 18th Reinforcements 20th Battalion. Joined 20th Battalion in the Field on the 2nd May 1917, and is killed in action on the 27th April 1918.4 James was the son of Emily Brown, Darling Street, Cowra, New South Wales, Australia, and George Brown. He was born in San Francisco, and is buried in Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery, Albert. The inscription on his grave reads:
“IN MEMORY OF THE DEAR SON OF EMILY AND THE LATE GEORGE BROWN OF COWRA”
Private 2815 Mayo Carlton Clark, Australian Imperial Force, he arrives at 4th Australian Division Base Camp the following day. Taken on the strength of 4th Pioneer Battalion ex-6th Reinforcements/4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, on the 16th May 1917. Mayo was born near Denver, Colorado, USA. Married to Jane Reid of New Zealand, his mother lived in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. He enlisted on the 10th January 1916 in Brisbane. Hospitalised in July 1918 suffering from Trench Fever.5
Private 2541 Charles Valentine Crichton, ex 10th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 5th Reinforcement 39th Battalion.6
Private 6977 David Maynard Crichton, Ex 2nd Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 23rd Reinforcements/8th Battalion.7
Private 3200 Charles David Cunningham, Ex 14th Training Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Arrived at 5 Australian Division Base Depot the following day. Taken on Strength 54th Battalion ex 8th Reinforcements on the 13th May. Wounded in action on the 17th October.8
Corporal 3055 Edward Grant, 54th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Edward, was born in Willesden near London and emigrated to Australia before the outbreak of war. He enlisted in the 10th Reinforcement 2nd Battalion on the 6th July 1915. Taking his oath of allegiance on the 12th Grant was taken on strength 2nd Battalion from the 10th/2nd at Tel-el Kebir 5th February 1916. Transferred to the 54th Battalion eleven days later. Appointed Lance Corporal while in Egypt on the 31st May 1916. The 54th sailed from Alexandria on the 19th June bound for Marseilles and the Western Front on the 19th June 1916. Grant is wounded in action on the 20th July.. He receives a gunshot wound to his right leg. He is admitted to No.2 Australian Casualty Clearing station the same day. From there he is sent via No.8 Stationary Hospital and the Hospital Ship St David to England. Admitted to the military Hospital at Edmington. He is to remain there for just over three weeks.. His first posting from Hospital is to No. 1 Command Depot. October No.3 Command Depot, beginning of November 1916 No.4 Command Depot. Three weeks later his Commanding Officer awards him 168 hours of detention and the forfeiture of 20 days pay for being in Absent Without Leave for 13 days. On the 5th December 1916 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. The 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. Is a V.D. Hospital for mainly Australian soldiers, Grant has syphilis. He spends the next 61 days in hospital. Three days after his discharge from hospital he is posted back to No.1 Australian Depot. It is now the 5th February 1917. On the 24th February Grant goes absent without leave. He returns at 6:45 pm on the 23rd March and forfeits 28 days pay. A month later he is posted overseas and returns to France via Folkestone on the 25th April. Spending just under a month at the 5th Australian Base Depot at Etaples he rejoins his unit, the 54th Battalion on the 20th May. Promoted Corporal on the 8th June. Grant must have been a reasonably good soldier. He is again wounded. He sprains his ankle, this time playing football. The 54th Battalion were playing the 53rd. His service record records, “ This man was injured in a Football Match between 53rd Bn and 54th Bn. At Beaulancourt on 13/6/17 He was not to blame.” He spends a day over a fortnight in hospital. Wounded in action on the 25th September, the 7th November his record has him listed as “Wounded and missing on the 25th September. It was decided by the court of enquiry on the 21st March 1918 that he was Killed in Action on the 25th.9Edward Grant has no known grave his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.10
Private 3143 George Arthur Laidlaw, Australian Imperial Force. Arrived 5th Australian Base Depot ex10th Training Battalion the following day. Joined 54th Battalion Ex 8th Reinforcements/54th Battalion in the Field on the 13th May. Killed in Action 26th September 1917. George, the son of Mitchell and Alice Mary Laidlaw has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.11
Private 7075 Frederick McCabe, Australian Imperial Forces, ex 23rd Reinforcements/2nd Battalion. Arrived at 1st Australian Base Depot the next day. Taken on Strength by the 2nd Battalion on the 11th May 1917. Frederick is killed in action on the 22nd September 1917. Private McCABE, FREDERICK 7075. Born in Sofalla, USA. The son of Son of James Warwick McCabe and Emily Maria McCabe, of Hudson St., Granville, New South Wales. Is buried at Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood. the inscription on his grave reads:12
“THOUGH LOST TO SIGHT TO MEMORY EVER DEAR”
Private 2362 John Crichton McLean, Australian Imperial Force, Ex 11th Training Battalion, part of the 4th Reinforcements for the 42nd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. John was born in Glasgow but his family had emigrated to Australia and John enlisted in Brisbane. He survived the war and returned to Australia.13
Private 7025 Andrew Edward McNair, 23rd Reinforcements/8th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Marched into 1st Australian Division Base Depot on the 26th. Taken on strength of 8th Battalion on the 13th May. He is killed in action on the 25th October 1917.
(from Fold3/Australian Archives)
Andrew Edward Henry McNair, 8th Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Killed in action age 27. The son of Son of Andrew Sneddon McNair and Lena McNair, of Morwell, Victoria, and a native of Melbourne. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.
Private 2691 Herbert George Rider, Australian Imperial Force. Ex-9th Training Battalion. Taken on Strength 33rd Battalion, ex 5th Reinforcements/33rd Battalion on the 1st May.14