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Aubrey Jesse Whittington MM

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Aubrey Jesse Whittington MM
Whittington Aubrey Jessie.jpg
Western Mail 11 Jun 1915 p.4s
Whittington Aubrey Jessie as POW.jpg
Jesse and some other 16th Battalion POWs
Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown
"unknown" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
Place of Birth Kelmscott, Western Australia
Death 20 Jan 1989, aged 95
Place of Death Corrigin, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 3 months
Description 145 lbs
65.771 kg
; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Farmer
Religion Church of England
Address 'Oakland' Brookton, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Thomas James Whittington
Military Information
Reg Number 400
Date of Enlistment 13 Oct 1914
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, C Company / 1st Division - 4th Division after Egypt
Date of Embarkation 22 Dec 1914 ‒ 1 Feb 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A40 Ceramic
Date of Return 18 Jan 1919 ‒ 24 Feb 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A38 Ulysses
Fate Wounded in Action 3 May 1915 Gallipoli Peninsular
Prisoner of War 11 Apr 1917 Ist Bullecourt
Monument none currently
Medals Military Medal
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal




Pre War

War Service

Enlisted subject to him providing a duplicate set of false teeth and initially allocated to E Company. With the reorganisation of the Infantry battalions, he was transferred to C Company which travelled separately to Lemnos from the rest of the 16th Battalion on HMAT A48 Seang Bee, before they all landed at 5:30pm on the 25th from the Haida Pascha.

Ashore, they were despatched up Monash Gulley to fill a hole in the line. On 3 May 1915 when Aubrey received a GSW to his left shoulder at Bloody Angle, the battalion's fighting strength had fallen from 995 to 307. Aubrey was evacuated to 1st General Hospital at Heliopolis before transferring to the Helovan Convalescent Camp on 29 May. On 30 Jul 1915 he was discharged to the Base Details camp at Zeitoun before proceeding back to Gallipoli on HMT Huntsgreen on 22 Aug 1915.

A month after returning to his unit on 26 Sep 1915 he was seen by the 4th Australian Field Ambulance, and Aubrey was hospitalised with an injury to his Bronchial Plexus. He was admitted to 3rd General Hospital Abbassia at some point and then evacuated to the 5th Southern General Hospital in Portsmouth, where he was admitted on 11 Nov 1915.

His records are blank from that point until 28 May 1916 when he was transferred from Weymouth camp to Salisbury where he spent time with the 4th Training Battalion prior to rejoining the 16th Battalion in France on 19 Aug 1916 as they move into position to attack Mouquet Farm.

He was again hospitalised for a few days in Sep 1916, before suffering a bad case of Influenza on 30 Nov 1916 which necessitated him being evacuated to England on HMHS Newhaven from Calais on 15 Dec 1916.

Admitted to the 1st Eastern General Hospital the same day, before being released to the Infantry Draft Depot No 4 at Perham Downs on 27 Jan 1917. He returned to France via Folkestone and rejoined the 16th Battalion on 13 Feb 1917.

During the ill fated 1st Battle for Bullecourt on 11 Apr 1917, he was captured by the Germans. As a Prisoner of War he was held at Gef Lager Dietmen Company 54, Group 3, but escaped at his fourth attempt to Holland on 12 Nov 1918, and arrived back in the UK on 17 Nov 1918. As an escapee, he was awarded the Military Medal.

Discharged 5th Military District 2 May 1919.

Aubrey's Red Cross file contains an extract from a letter dated 16 May 1918 from him [1].

"Will you please let me know if anything can be done for Prisoners of War who are medically unfit for work. I am at present in a convalescent barrack of the camp suffering from haemorrhage of the lungs. I have been coughing up a great deal of blood lately and any little exertion on my part brings on the bleeding again. I have to take all my food cold and am often not able to get what is suitable for me. If nothing can be done in the way of internment or exchange will you please see if I can have some medicines sent out. I am not suffering any pain but am feeling weak from loss of blood."

Six weeks later he wrote to say that he was now feeling better and didn't need assistance. Another entry in the file notes that he is an escaped prisoner, having escaped to Holland, and arrived back in England on 17 Nov 1918, thus earning the Military Medal.

Award Comment

Military Medal

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Military Medal to the undermentioned in recognition of gallant conduct and determination displayed in escaping from captivity. No 400 Private A.J. Whittington, 16th Battalion A.I.F. [2][3]

Post War

In 1926 Aubrey married Florence Gray (born Brookton on 30 Nov 1906, died 26 May 1993) in Beverley.

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 in Brookton as a farm labourer, 1931 he is a farmer at 'Montauban' Bilbarin (north of Corrigin). 1963 sees them south of Corrigin at 'Maneroo' Bullaring, and in 1968 they have retired to 2 Nairn road, Applecross where Aubrey receives his Gallipoli Medallion. Both are listed as still at 2 Nairn road in 1980. Children Mavis, Enid, and Barry (1937 - 1996).

Notes

  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Aubrey Jesse Whittington". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  2. London Gazette No 32231 dated 11th February 1921, page 1362, position 1.
  3. Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 53 of 16th June 1921, page 951, position 1.

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