Arthur Swindlehurst MM
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||not known 1880|
|Place of Birth||Blackburn, Lancashire, England|
|Death||15 Nov 1939, aged 59|
|Place of Death||St John of God Hospital, Subiaco, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||36 years, 4 months|
5'5" (1.65m) tall ; 150 lbs|
68.039 kg; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Bush Landing, Jarrahdale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs Mary Ellen Swindlehurst|
|Date of Enlistment||4 Apr 1916|
|Unit/Formation||16th Battalion, 20th Reinforcement / 4th Brigade, 4th Division|
|Date of Embarkation||10 Oct 1916 ‒ 2 Dec 1916|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A23 Suffolk|
|Date of Return||31 Jan 1918 ‒ 6 Apr 1918|
|Ship Returned On||RMS Osterley|
Wounded in Action 26 Sep 1917 Polygon Wood |
Returned to Australia
Jarrahdale Honour Roll |
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Military Medal |
British War Medal
Prior to emigrating, Arthur had served with the East Lancashire Regiment from 1898 to 1906.
He married Mary Ellen Woods (b.1881) on 12 May 1906 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. Daughter Minnie (b.1907- d.1910). Lillian born prior to arrival in WA?
Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 4 Apr 1916 and six months later travelled to Plymouth, England as part of the 20th reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion.
On arrival in England Arthur was sent to the 4th training Battalion at Codford. On 27 Dec 1916 required to be admitted to hospital due to having influenza.
Arthur proceeded to France through Folkestone on board HMT Princess Victoria on 16 Jan 1917, and was taken on strength by the 16th Battalion on 21 Jan 1917. He was appointed Lance Corporal on 21 Apr 1917 in the field.
The 16th Battalion were a part of an attack in the early morning of 26 Sep 1917 on German positions that had been weakened by their defeat four days earlier in what is known as the battle for Menin Road. By 6:50am the 16th Battalion had achieved all of its objective and was consolidating the ground won by them. During the advance they had lost very few men, but then lost a number to snipers and machine gun fire while they were digging in. Australian casualties for the day were 5,770 of whom Arthur was one.
Arthur sustained wounds to his right ram and knee, and to his left wrist. Given his nomination for a Bravery Award, the wound came late in the battle. Seen by a Casualty Clearing Station, he was transferred on 27 Sep 1917 to the 14th Stationary Hospital in Boulogne for treatment. On 12 Oct 1917 Arthur was transferred to England for further treatment, and was admitted next day to the Military Hospital at Bethnal Green. Released to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford on 9 Nov 1917.
His award of the Military Medal had been promulgated on 31 Oct 1917, and he was discharged from the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital on 28 Nov 1917 to prepare for return to Australia for a 'rest' given his muscular, spinal paralysis.
On arrival home he was found unfit for further involvement in the war and was discharged by the 5th Military District on 3 Oct 1918.
"This non-commissioned officer is brought to notice for gallant and zealous conduct during the operations near Zonnebeke on the 26th September 1917. On the morning of the attack, by his coolness and general grasp of the situation, he inspired his section to superhuman work both in the attack and in consolidations. After the objective had been reached he took a party of snipers out to the edge of our barrage and accounted for considerable numbers of the enemy who were attempting to reorganise in shell holes."
Twin daughters born on 20 Feb 1919, Doreen and Ivy. Ivy died 13 Mar 1920 aged 1. Mary Ellen died 5 Jul 1964 at Bicton, aged 83. While Arthur was away, Mary Ellen moved to Perth to lodge. On his return they settled at 236 Barker road, Subiaco.
- 1st ANZAC Routine Orders 88 p 451-454, 31 Oct 1917
- London Gazette 17 Dec 1917 page 13200, position 55
- Commonwealth Gazette page 1037, position 214