Frederick John Chester

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Frederick John Chester
Chester Frederick James.jpg
Frederick Chester with wife Mavis Alma.
Chester Frederick.jpg
Wire entanglements near Lormisset Farm part of the Masnieres - Beaurevoir system. Fred Chester was WIA here.
Personal Information
Date of Birth 28 Apr 1896
Place of Birth Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Death 12 May 1968, aged 72
Place of Death Armadale, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 6 months
Description 5'11½" (1.82m) tall ; 151 lbs
68.492 kg
; medium complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Swamper
Religion Methodist
Address Bush Landing, Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Amelia Harmer
Military Information
Reg Number 6563
Date of Enlistment 26 Oct 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 19th Reinforcment / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 29 Jan 1917 ‒ 27 Mar 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A28 Miltiades
Date of Return 21 Dec 1918 ‒ 27 Jan 1919
Ship Returned On HMT Mamari
Fate Wounded in Action 3 Oct 1918 Hindenburg Line
Returned to Australia
Monument Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

War Service

Soon after entering Blackboy Hill camp, Fred was allocated to the 8th reinforcement draft for the 48th Battalion. Three weeks later he was sent back to a Depot Company, and it was on 4 Jan 1917 that he was allocated to the 19th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion.

The day after arriving in England Fred was in the Rollestone Hospital. On discharge he joined the 7th Training Battalion to prepare for France.

On 28 Mar 1917 he proceeded to Le Havre in France via Southampton. After two weeks in a base depot he joined the 28th Battalion in the field on 15 Aug 1917. At the time, the 28th was in a rear area undergoing training. On 19 Aug 1918 he was awarded 28 days Field Punishment No. 2 for being AWOL for less than a day.

Fred was Wounded in Action on 3 Oct 1918 in an attack on the Beaurevoir Line . An abbreviated extract from the unit's War Diary says...
The morning was crisp and fine with a little mist in the valleys. A hot meal was brought forward to the troops by the cooks at 4:00am, and the troops moved to their starting point by 5:00am. The battalion moved forward under an artillery screen at 5 minutes past 6am. Everything went well and according to plan. The advance continued past the Lormisset farm (2 Km west of Beaurevoir) to the road and then the Masnieres - Beaurevoir Line was entered. The advance continued up the trench, capturing prisoners until held up by 3 machne guns. Once these were overcome they managed to capture the entire trench and set up defendable positions. Casualties were 14 KIA and 70 WIA.[1]

Fred's injury is said to be a GSW to his left heel, and could have occurred at any time during the action.

Seen first by the 141st Field Ambulance and passed on to the 50th Casualty Clearing Station on the day he was injured before being admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital in Rouen the next day 4 Oct 1918. Evacuated to England he entered the Town Hall Hospital in Torquay on 6 Oct 1918. Discharged from Hospital on 9 Nov 1918 he was granted furlough until the 25th when he reported to the No 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny.

Discharged 5th Military District 13 Mar 1919.

Post War

In 1920 Fred married Mavis Alma Day. Electoral Roll entries - 1922 - 1943 at Newtown, Jarrahdale, a mill hand; 1949 - 1968 a labourer at Jarrahdale with Mavis. In 1972 Mavis was by herself at 9 Selkirk street, Armadale. Mavis died on 27 Aug 1974 in Armadale.

Notes

  1. AWM4 23/45/43 - October 1918 pages 6-9

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