Patrick Benjamin (‘Paddy’) Woodbridge
Patrick Benjamin Woodbridge was born in Grenfell in 1890, the first son and sixth child of Benjamin and Mary Ann Woodbridge. By the time World War One was declared the family had relocated to Orange. Patrick – or ‘Paddy’ as he became known – and his younger brother, John, were working as shearers in northern Queensland; another brother, William, was a boundary rider in the same area.
The three brothers enlisted in Queensland within a few months of each other and embarked together from Brisbane in April 1915, all privates in the 15th Battalion bound for Gallipoli.
On 8 August, just three weeks after arriving in Gallipoli, Paddy sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. He was hospitalised the following week with crushed fingers. Private Woodbridge spent several months recovering in the 2nd Auxiliary Convalescent Hospital in Heliopolis before returning to duty in October 1915. In August the following year Private Woodbridge again suffered a gunshot wound, this time to the left hand.
Private Woodbridge spent the remainder of the war in England and France; he returned to Australia in July 1919. Paddy lived in Orange, where he worked as a labourer. In 1934 he married Elsie Thompson and in about 1940 the couple moved to Warren. Paddy died in June 1957; he is buried in Warren Cemetery.
Paddy’s younger brothers, John and William both died during WWI, John was killed in action on 8 August 1915; William was wounded on 6 August 1915; he died six days later.