Ernest Camp

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Ernest Camp
Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1886
Place of Birth Jamestown, South Australia
Death 17 Oct 1973, aged 87
Place of Death Swanbourne, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 30 years, 1 month
Description 5'8" (1.m) tall ; 162 lbs
73.482 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair ; numerous tattoos
Occupation Boilermaker
Religion Church of England
Address Gretland House, Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Annie Elizabeth Camp
Military Information
Reg Number 7965
Date of Enlistment 4 Apr 1917
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 27th Reinforcements transferred to the 51st Battalion & then the 10th Battalion
Date of Embarkation 30 Oct 1917 ‒ 27 Dec 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas
Date of Return 22 Dec 1918 ‒ 5 Feb 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A41 Bakara
Fate Wounded in Action (gassed) 25 Apr 1918 Villers-Bretonneux
Wounded in Action 19 Sep 1918 Jeancourt
Returned to Australia
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Ernest was one of nine children to John Henry Oldridge Camp and Hannah Nelson. Ernest was employed 6 May 1907 by Jacob Sincock in Adelaide area as dairy rounds-man, but it appears temptation when handling cash could not be resisted in early December 1907, as he took money paid to him by a customer, and disappeared.

“Ernest Camp, charged that, on December, 3, 1907, at North Adelaide, he being the servant to one, Jacob Sincock, dairyman, of Gilles Plains, did receive and take into his possession for and on account of his said master the sum of 18s 4d [eighteen shillings and four pence], and the said sum feloniously and fraudulently did embezzle. Description – About 20 years of age, 5ft [foot] 6in [inches] high, ruddy complexion, dark-brown hair, clean shaven, low forehead, stout build, usually dresses in a blue-black serge suit, and black hard hat, has brothers at Broken Hill, and his parents reside at Jamestown. He was employed by complainant to deliver milk and collect accounts, and whilst in that capacity received the sum above stated from Miss Stakeman, at North Adelaide. There are also other amounts which he collected in like manner, but failed to pay over.”[1]

Ernest fled Adelaide and reached Fremantle Western Australia, but his freedom was short lived, for he was apprehended on January 16, 1908 in Fremantle by the Western Australian Police and remanded to Adelaide.

A LONG FLIGHT - BROUGHT FROM FREMANTLE - CHARGES OF EMBEZZLEMENT "Ernest Camp, a young man, who was proceeded against by his employer for the alleged embezzlement of 18/4 [eighteen shillings and four pence], was brought back from Western Australia to answer the charge. He appeared at the Adelaide Police Court on Tuesday morning. Jacob Sincock, of Gilles Plains, dairyman, stated that accused had worked for him prior to December 3. He received £1 a week, with board and lodging. His duties were to deliver milk to customers and collect money when account became due. On December 2 be should have handed over 18/4 (eighteen shillings and four pence) which had been paid to him by a customer. He did not do so. On the following evening informant went to Camp's room, and found he had gone and taken his clothes away. Detective Whittle said he saw defendant at the Fremantle Police Station on January 16, and arrested him under the Fugitive Offender Act. When told the charge and cautioned he replied 'I am the man; that is me.' Defendant told the Bench it' was his first offence, and that he had always borne a good character. Informant, in answer to the S.M. [Stipendiary Magistrate], said defendant had not accounted for two other payments of about the same amount. Camp was sentenced to three months' imprisonment, and informant accordingly withdrew the other charges."[2]

By 1910 Ernest had secured employment in Adelaide with Mrs Mary Ann Faucett, again as a dairyman delivering milk. He was again tempted by handling cash and in December 1910, he again retained the monies collected, which resulted in a warrant being issued for his arrest.

“Ernest Camp, described as 23 years of age, 5ft [foot] 8¾ins [inches] high, brown hair, grey eyes, fair complexion, muscular build, short nose, low broad forehead, small mouth, round chin, long face, small mole back of neck, fleshy mole on left shoulder, scar side of left chin, three vaccine marks upper right arm, scat centre of forehead, frowns considerably when in conversation, wore a blue serge sac suit, size about 6, slit in the back of the coat, black hard hat, blue and white check shirt and white linen collar, or may wear dark-grey tweed striped trousers, and a white vest with a black stripe in material was recently employed driving a milk cart in Adelaide and suburbs, was last seen in Adelaide on the 12 instant. Parents reside at Laura (is identical with the man of same name, vide Police Gazette, 1908 page 93, “Prisoners Discharged”). Charged that at Adelaide, on December 12, 1910, being a servant of one Mary Ann Faucett, he did receive and take into his possession for and on account of the said Mary Ann Faucett certain sums of money, to wit the sums of 2s 3½d [two shillings three and half pence], 4s 5d [four shillings and five pence], 1s 8d [one shilling and eight pence] and 1s 5½d [one shilling and five and half pence], and the said moneys did feloniously and fraudulently embezzle. His defalcations amount to £5 or over. [3]

Following his brushes with the law Ernest worked for 3 years as an apprentice to his father as a boiler maker, which is supported by his enlistment papers; .and in 1917, he married Annie Elizabeth Holroyd, before volunteering on 4 April 1917 to join the AIF in Perth Western Australia, giving his address as Greetland House, Gosnells,

War Service

Entering camp on 5 Apr 1917, Ernest was allocated to artillery's Trench Mortar training unit and sent to Seymour in Victoria on 19 May 1917. On 8 Aug 1917 he was transferred to the Broadmeadows camp, and on 17 Sep 1917 he was re-allocated to the 27th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion. He travelled to England from Melbourne, disembarking in Devonport.

On arrival in England he was sent to the 2nd Training Battalion in Sutton Veny (27 Dec 1917) for further infantry training. On 2 Feb 1918 he was charged with having been AWOL from midnight 29 Jan 1918 until 9:10pm 30 Jan 1918. Awarded 3 days Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited 4 days pay. Ernest proceeded overseas to France on 1 Apr 1918 and entered the 4th Division's Base Depot in Calais, and on 6 Apr 1918 he was taken on strength by the 51st Battalion which at that time was in the line between Buire and Dernancourt, France.

On 24 Apr 1918 the 51st Battalion, with the rest of the Australian 13th Brigade marched 8 miles to take up positions near Villers-Bretonneux which had been overrun and captured from British troops the previous day. The 13th Brigade were to capture ground south of the township with the 51st Battalion closest to the town. The attack was initiated at night and by the morning of 25 Apr 1918 they were in position around the town. Given that Ernest was gassed, it could have occurred at any time after daylight on 25 Apr 1918 as the Germans used a heavy barrage of gas and high explosive artillery shells throughout the day causing casualties on a regular basis.

Affected by mustard gas, Ernest was seen by the 12th Field Ambulance on 28 Apr 1918, before being sent to the 24th General Hospital in Étaples on 30 Apr 1918. Evacuated to England aboard HS Ville de Liege on 3 May 1918, he entered the 2/1st Southern General Hospital in Dudley road, Birmingham on 4 May 1918. On 30 May 1918 he was released to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital which quickly assessed him and sent him on furlough from 1 - 15 Jun 1918.

Recovered, Ernest proceeded overseas to France again from Folkestone on 24 Jul 1918, this time as a reinforcement to the 10th Battalion, and he joined them on 31 Jul 1918 as they were coming out of the line in the Merris Sector. On 19 Sep 1918 he was wounded in action a second time, this time with shell concussion. At the time the 10th Battalion was advancing near Jeancourt, France, successfully advancing the line 5,000 yards (3,000 meters). Evacuated to England on 23 Sep 1918, he was admitted to the VA Hospital in Cheltenham after assessment by the 2nd Southern General Hospital in Bristol on 24 Sep 1918.

While recovering, Ernest was granted furlough, but returned late, and therefore was charged with being AWOL from 10:00am 12 Nov 1918 until 9:00am 13 Nov 1918. He was admonished and forfeited a day's pay. On 16 Nov 1918 he was sent to Sutton Veny where he began his return to Australia on medical grounds, leaving the UK on 22 Dec 1918.

Ernest was discharged by the 5th Military District on 7 Mar 1919.

Post War

Ernest Camp as a returned soldier was employed by W.A.G.R & T in the Train and Supply Branch, from 21 Oct 1919 as a Pitman on a weekly wage of 12/6 (twelve shillings and six pence), he was variously employed as a conductor and a motorman and resigned on 20 Oct 1920. In 1921 he and his wife where living at 64 Lincoln Street, Perth, and by 1925 they were living in Pickering Brook. 1936 at 54 Lyons street, Cottesloe, a miner; 1943 - 1972 at 99 North street, Claremont, miner (Son George Ernest a salesman in 1940s). Son George Ernest was born 30 Jun 1918. Daughter Dorothy was born 1 Jun 1920.


For further information on this soldier, or for more information about the history and heritage of the City of Gosnells, please contact the Heritage Coordinator on 9391 6011

  1. Trove - South Australian Police Gazette, 1 Dec 1907, page 273
  2. Trove - The register, Wednesday 29 Jan 1908, page 4
  3. South Australian Police Gazette 14 Dec 1910, page 315

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