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Samuel Simpson Thompson

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Samuel Simpson Thompson
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Personal Information
Date of Birth 7 Aug 1889
Place of Birth Picton, New South Wales
Death 19 Aug 1916
Place of Death Pozières, France
Age at Enlistment 25 years, 6 months
Description 5'7" (1.70m) tall ; 128lbs
58.06 kg
; dark complexion ; grey eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Railway employee
Religion Church of England
Address c/- Post Office, Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Elizabeth Jane Hall
Military Information
Reg Number 701
Date of Enlistment 10 Mar 1915
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, C Company
Date of Embarkation 9 Jun 1915 ‒ 2 Jul 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A11 Ascanius
Fate WIA 29 Jul 1916 Pozières, France
DOW 19 Aug 1916 Boulogne, France
Monument Gosnells War Memorial
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

Joined the Western Australian Government Railways on 14 Feb 1905 as a Junior Porter in the Perth Goods Section with a payoff 2/6d (25 cents) per day. In August 1905 he transferred to Fremantle, and in January 1906 to Kalgoorlie Transfers to Merredin, Kalgoorlie again and Wagin followed. On 20 Aug 1909 he was promoted to Porter with a pay increase to 7/6d. On 1 Dec 1912 at Wagin he was promoted to Clerk on a salary of £125 p.a.

War Service

Simpson entered Blackboy Hill camp on 10 Mar 1915, and on 16 Apr 1915 he was allotted to D Company of the 28th Battalion that was being formed at that time. On 1 May 1915 he was promoted to Corporal and shifted to C Company. On 29 May 1915 he was promoted to the Regiment's Orderly Room Sergeant, and travelled with the battalion to Egypt. In Egypt he and others with administrative duties were transferred to the 3rd Echelon General Headquarters on 4 Sep 1915. It seems that this unit was based in Alexandria, Egypt so he did not reach Gallipoli. When his unit returned to Egypt after the Gallipoli campaign he reverted at his own request to the rank of Sergeant, and rejoined them on 14 Feb 1916 in Ismailia. For a short time they were based at Ferry Post on the Suez Canal.

The 28th Battalion travelled to Alexandria on 16 Mar 1916 in cattle trucks, and boarded the HMAT A32 Themistocles that afternoon. The ship left port that night for Marseilles in southern France where they arrived at 3:30pm on 21 Mar 1916. Disembarking the following day they were again loaded into cattle trucks for the rail journey to the battlefields in the north. During the journey from Egypt he had been made temporary Company Sergeant Major, a rank he relinquished on 7 May 1916.

The 28th Battalion, along with the 25th and 26th Battalions, on 29 Jul 1916 was given the task of capturing fortified German positions on Pozières Heights, the right flank of their objective being the windmill site beyond the village. Over proceeding days the German artillery had pounded Australian positions such that there were no deep trenches from which to launch the attack, and the troops that they replaced were largely in a state of shock from the constant concussions and destruction wrought on their friends.

At 6:00pm they began to deploy into their start positions, with 11:30pm the time chosen for the attack. During this period they were receiving enemy artillery fire causing many casualties while waiting for the attack to commence. Given that Simpson's records have him as being wounded by shellfire on 29 Jul 1916 we might assume that this is when he was hit.

Treated for a shrapnel wound to his chest (penetrating) he was admitte4d to the 44th Casualty Clearing Station on 30 Jul 1916, and placed on Ambulance Train No. 26 for Boulogne where he was admitted to the 13th General Hospital on 31 Jul 1916. Here, on 19 Aug 1916 he died from the wounds that he had received at Pozières. Buried the same day in the Boulogne East Cemetery.

  • Boulogne Eastern Cemetery
  • CWGC

Notes

Although he enlisted from Wagin, his name is not on their memorial.


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