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Hubert Maitland Armstrong MM

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Hubert Maitland Armstrong MM
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Personal Information
Date of Birth 12 Apr 1889
Place of Birth Fremantle, Western Australia
Death 31 May 1956, aged 67
Place of Death Victoria Park, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 32 years, 7 months
Description 5' 9½ " (1.77m) tall ; 155 lbs
70.307 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Salvation Army
Address NOK "The Hermitage", Karragullen, Western Australia.
Next of Kin Sister , Mrs Olive Hanbury
Military Information
Reg Number 3014
Date of Enlistment 5 Oct 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 51st Battalion, 7th Reinforcements / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 9 Nov 1916 ‒ 10 Jan 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A8 Argyllshire Fremantle to Devonport
Date of Return 28 Aug 1919 ‒ 15 Oct 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A61 Kanowna
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott-Armadale Parish Roll of Honour
Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)
Medals Military Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

Although working in Wagin at time of enlistment, gave Kelmscott as his permanent address.

War Service

In camp during week 1, Hubert was allocated to the 23rd reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, before transferring to 6/44, and then a week later to 7/51. Hubert was one of 13 men from reinforcement drafts on board the Argyllshire who had links to the Armadale-Kelmscott district. The others being: Arthur Thomas Orton MM (12th Battalion); George Henry Aspinall, Robert Prior Bailey, and Isaac Robert Powell (16th Battalion); William Wilfred Gerald Liddington (28th Battalion), William Bingham, Robert Frank Bickford, Robert Hastings Joyce, Beverley Loxton Bennett and Norman Leslie Skewes (44th Battalion), Albert Nock (48th Battalion), and Charles Leonard Lockhart (51st Battalion like Hubert).

On arrival in England Hubert was sent to the 13th Training Battalion in Rollestone. After 3 months training he travelled to France via Folkestone and joined his Battalion on 15 Apr 1917 at Becourt where they were resting behind the lines.

During an abortive attack on enemy lines in Belgium on 12 Oct 1917, Hubert reacted to a call for stretcher bearers during a heavy retaliatory bombardment that followed the Australian unsuccessful attempt to capture Passchendaele Ridge on 12 October 1917.[1]

The next day Hubert was treated by the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance for trench feet, before being passed on to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station, and on the next day (14 Oct 1917) to the 14th General Hospital in Boulogne. Released to 1 Command Depot on 25 Oct 1917, it wasn't until 15 Dec 1917 amidst snow and cold winds he rejoined his unit at Templeux-la-Fosse between Bapaume and St Quentin.

By 8 Jan 1918 he was again ill and on 15 Jan he embarked on HMHS St Andrew for England where he was admitted to the King's Heath Section of the 1st Southern General Hospital in Birmingham with severe Nephritis. They released him to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford on 7 Feb 1918 where he was granted furlough from 18 Feb - 4 Mar 1918.

Whilst in England Hubert was court martialled (2 May 1918) for being AWOL but was found not guilty; being considered to have been ill with Nephritis. From 13 - 25 Apr 1918 and 3 - 6 May 1918 (total 17 days) he spent time in the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, being treated for Venereal Disease, before returning to France via Folkestone on 22 Sep 1918.

Hubert rejoined his unit on 27 Sep 1918 in Guynemicourt where they were training, but on 15 Oct 1918 he was again in hospital, this time suffering with glaucoma. Seen by the 13th Australian Field Ambulance they then passed him to the 41st Stationary Hospital. On 23 Oct 1918 he was transferred to the 2nd Canadian General Hospital, and on 26 Oct 1918 to the 39th General Hospital in Le Havre, and then on 30 Oct 1918 to the 2nd Australian General Hospital with tubercular meningitis. On 21 Nov 1918 he was embarked on HMHS Aberdonian for England. Admitted to hospital in Chichester, he was released to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital on 2 Dec 1918. Following treatment he was granted furlough on 9 Dec 1918.

On 31 Dec 1918 Hubert was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford and was in and out of it until 11 Jun 1918. He returned to Australia in Aug 1919 due to defective vision as a result of meningitis, and discharged by the 5th Military District as unfit after a lengthy period of treatment, on 3rd April 1920. During the voyage home he contracted pneumonia and was treated in the ship's hospital on 30 Aug 1919

Casualty List 382 "seriously ill"[2] 450th Casualty List..ill .Pte Herbert Maitland Armstrong, M.M., second occasion...[3] " 456th Casualty List - ill - Pte Armstrong Hubert Maitland (M.M.), (Kelmscott) third occasion"...[4]

Award Commentary

Military Medal

"In operations near BROODSEINDE on 12th October 1917, these men did splendid work as Stretcher Bearers in going to the assistance and collecting wounded men under very heavy shell fire and at great personal risk. It was entirely due to their gallantry and devotion to duty that casualties were cleared quickly and many lives saved."

(Two others recommended for gallantry award with Armstrong)[5]


Post War

In 1925 he was living at 77 Brisbane street North Perth, working as a labourer; in 1931 with wife Elizabeth (nee Collett who he married in 1926) in Gingin as a timber worker; in 1936 at 81 King George street, South Perth no occupation listed; in 1943 had moved to 107 Berwick street, Victoria Park, and remained there until he died. Elizabeth died in 1949 aged 71.


Notes

Son of George Armstrong and Louisa Vincent

References

  1. For King & Cobbers-51st Battalion AIF p.176
  2. "W.A. Casualties". The Daily News. XXXVII, (13,409). Western Australia. 12 February 1918. p. 1 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 27 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "AUSTRALIANS IN ACTION". Western Argus. 23, (5067). Western Australia. 17 December 1918. p. 26. Retrieved 27 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. "ILL.". The Daily News. XXXVIII, (13,701). Western Australia. 30 January 1919. p. 5 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 27 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 95, page 1392, position 27, dated 27th June 1918

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