Reuben Arnold MM

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Reuben Arnold MM
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Personal Information
Date of Birth 1886
Place of Birth South Brighton, Victoria
Death 1 Nov 1917, aged 31
Place of Death Passchendaele, Belgium
Age at Enlistment 30 years, 1 month
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address Serpentine, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Robert Arnold
Military Information
Reg Number 5310
Date of Enlistment 7 Mar 1916
Rank Sergeant Armourer
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 14th reinforcement / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 9 Aug 1916 ‒ 25 Sep 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A28 Miltiades
Fate Wounded in Action 20 Sep 1917
Wounded in Action 29 Oct 1917
DOW 1 Nov 1917 (gas poisoning)
Monument Serpentine Roll of Honour
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals Military Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

Electoral Roll entries - 1909 - 1914 Serpentine, farmer; 1916 at Baandee with brother James, farming.

War Service

Joined the battalion on 16 Dec 1916 where they were in billets at St Vaast-en-Chaussee; appointed Lance Corporal 23 Feb 1917, promoted Temp Corporal 13 Mar 1917 and Temp Sergeant 1 Apr 1917.

Admitted to hospital with myalgia and rejoined unit near Steeenwoorde as Corporal on 1 Sep 1917. Wounded 20 Sep 1917 with a Shell Wound to the head while waiting to advance on German positions on Westhoek Ridge.

Rejoined the battalion on 21 Oct 1917, before being again wounded on 29 Oct 1917 (gassed - mustard gas) which caused his death on 1 Nov 1917 in the 17th Casualty Clearing Station, Belgium.

Letter from OC 17th Casualty Cleaing Station included in Red Cross file.[1].
"The late Pte R. Arnold 28th Battalion AIF was admitted to this hospital suffering from the effects of severe shell gas poisoning and his condition was critical. He did not improve and it is with regret I have to inform you of his death at 8:20pm on the 1.11.17 in this hospital. He was buried the following day in the soldier's cemetery near to this hospital, his grave being duly marked and registered."

"was a Corporal, acting Armourer Sgt at the time. Called "Rube", he was gassed with me at Passchendaele Ridge on Oct 29h and died Nov 1st. I did not see him being gassed muself, but Pte J.H. Hextall, Orderly Room, 28th Battalion, France, saw him and can give full details required. We were holding the line at the time. There were 18 of us gassed at the time and we all walked out to the Casualty Clearing Station, 13 of them have died. I believe he died at Étaples. He was not supposed to be in the line. 5348 Pte A.E.Dunn.

Award Comment

Military Medal:

'For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. At the attack on WESTHOEK RIDGE on 20th September 1917, on learning that his Company was too far to the left, he worked most energetically to get the men back and gave great help to his officers. When some of the men went into our own barrage, he moved forward at great personal risk and got them back. He showed fine judgement in consolidating, and set a splendid example until he was wounded late in the afternoon.'[2][3]
  • Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Notes

Buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Plot XXI, Row FF, Grave No. 8A).

  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Rueben Arnold". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  2. Commonwealth Gazette Dated 2 May 1918, page 1033, position 2.
  3. London Gazette dated 12 December 1917, page 13024, positon 12.

External Links