Ernest Richard Larkin Baulch

A memorial service was held in Millthorpe at the beginning of September 1918 by Captain Love of the Salvation Army. It was held to honour the life of Private Ernest Richard Larkin Baulch, killed in action in France on 23 August 1918.

Ernest enlisted in Orange on 15 February 1917 aged 18 years 5 months, his occupation was given as a farm labourer. He formed part of the 3rd Battalion 24th Reinforcement in the AIF. On 10 May 1917 Ernest embarked on the HMAT Clan Macgillivay at Melbourne bound for England. From there he was taken on strength to France in December of that year. On 10 March 1918 he was admitted to the 2nd Australian Field Ambulance with trench fever. He rejoined his battalion on 1 August 1918 and was killed in action on 23 August 1918.

Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Files contain reports of various soldiers who saw him as he fell. He was described as very thin, dark complexion and aged about 19 years. According to Lance-Corporal AA Burton (1065) of the same Company, Baulch “was a well-liked chap, and a really good boy”. He had seen him shot, he was hit in the stomach by machine gun fire about two yards away from him. Burton managed to stop and retrieve Baulch’s pay book, which he later handed in at London. He never saw him again but when he returned to the same area two days later stretcher-bearers pointed out Baulch’s grave near Robert Wood between the villages of Proyart and Chuignes. He was buried alongside another soldier and his rifle and hat were laid on the top of his grave.

Ernest Baulch’s enlistment papers records his place of birth as Corowa, New South Wales, and both his parents as deceased. His next of kin was given as a friend, Mrs Jane Warburton of Millthorpe. Included in his military file is a letter from Mrs Warburton stating the nature of her relationship with Ernest:

The deceased soldier was born out of wedlock and his mother, a working girl, could not afford to keep him. I adopted him when he was only a few weeks old. Not being married at the time myself, I called him an adopted brother. He came and lived with me when I married and remained with me until he enlisted. If you would like a copy of the letter I received from the girl giving up all claim to the child I can send it to you.

Letters to Mrs C Warburton were published in the Orange Leader on 15 January 1919. The first was from the chaplain of the 3rd Battalion AIF who spoke very highly of her “brother”:

Your brother made great sacrifice of his life during an attack by us upon enemy positions on 23/8/18. We lost him as the result of shell fire during the course of the attack. I can give you the assurance that he did not suffer in any way. Mercifully, his passing was instantaneous and without pain … Your brother has proved himself a good soldier and acceptable comrade.

Charlie Andrews also conveyed his sympathies:

Ern was a good mate of mine. He came across from Australia with me, and I always found him one of the best of mates. In the firing line he did his work fearlessly.

Ernest’s memorial plaque, memorial scroll and war medals were signed for by Mrs Jane Warburton on 16 November 1923.

Ernest Richard Larkin Baulch has no marked grave. He is commemorated on Millthorpe School Honour Roll, Millthorpe Methodist Church Honour Roll, Millthorpe Memorial Gates, on panel number 35 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France.

* Sharon Jameson, October 2018

This entry was posted on October 26th, 2018.

26 October 1918

 

 

General Erich Ludendorff, 1915. Image courtesy German Federal Archives.

This entry was posted on October 26th, 2018.

25 October 1918

Aboard the destroyer HMAS Swan during patrol in the Adriatic Sea, 1918. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

This entry was posted on October 25th, 2018.

24 October 1918

This entry was posted on October 24th, 2018.

23 October 1918

This entry was posted on October 23rd, 2018.

22 October 1918

This entry was posted on October 22nd, 2018.

Arthur Clive Gentle

Born in Inverell in 1896, Arthur Clive Gentle grew up in Mount McDonald, near Cowra, where he attended to local public school.

When Arthur was just nine years old his father, Arthur snr, died from a long standing heart condition. Arthur snr had been an employee of the Australian Postal Service. He worked in the Electric Telegraph Department in Inverell, Armidale and Sydney.

Young Arthur followed in his father’s footsteps, training as a wireless telegraphist after completing his schooling. At the time of his enlistment in August 1915 he was working as a junior assistant at Orange Post Office.

Because Arthur was under the age of 21, his mother, Edith Emily Green, was obliged to provide her written consent to his enlistment.

Image courtesy National Archives of Australia.

Arthur spent three months at Army Training Camp, before embarking SS Hawkes Bay in Sydney in November 1915. Private Gentle served in Egypt, Sinai and Palestine with the Australian Light Horse.

In June 1916 Arthur was admitted to the 3rd General Hospital in Port Said with burnt feet. He was discharged one month later and taken on strength with the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir.

In October 1916 Private Gentle qualified as a Signaller.

On 28 March 1918 Arthur was wounded in action during the first Battle of Amman. He was admitted to 14th Australian General Hospital in Port Said with gunshot wounds to both legs and his left thigh. Arthur recovered from his injuries and rejoined his regiment in July 1918.

Three months later Signaller Gentle was admitted to the 47th Stationary Hospital in Palestine suffering from malaria. On 21 October 1918 Arthur succumbed to the disease. He was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery the following day; Chaplain ER Lockyer officiated at the funeral.

Arthur Clive Gentle is commemorated on panel number 5 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Arthur’s WWI service medals were issued to his mother, Edith, and are now held at the Australian War Memorial.

Arthur Clive Gentle’s grave Gaza War Cemetery, Palestine. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

 

This entry was posted on October 21st, 2018.

21 October 1918

This entry was posted on October 21st, 2018.

Herbert Hamilton Holden

Herbert Hamilton Holden was 19 years old when enlisted in Bathurst in October 1916. He embarked from Sydney the following month, arriving in England in January 1917.

Private Holden was plagued with chest complaints; he was in England for barely a month before he was hospitalised, suffering from pneumonia. He proceeded to France in September 1917, but was hospitalised again in November, with laryngitis, and, in December, was transferred to the Fovant Military Hospital in England suffering from bronchitis and debility.

Upon his recovery Herbert returned to France and served another year with the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Reinforcement, before returning to Australia in August 1919. He was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force in September 1919.

Herbert returned to his parent’s house in Sale Street, Orange, and worked as a farmer until his death in 1939, at age 43.

Herbert Hamilton Holden is commemorated on the Cudal District Honour Roll, the Cudal and District War Memorial Gates and on the Toogong War Memorial.

Herbert’s brother, George Holden, also served in WWI; he died of disease in Egypt in October 1918.

Cudal WWI memorial.jpg. Cudal and District War Memorial Gates. Image courtesy Anthony Stavely-Alexander.

This entry was posted on October 20th, 2018.

20 October 1918

This entry was posted on October 20th, 2018.