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Thomas Alfred Reed

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Thomas Alfred Reed
Reed Thomas Alfred.jpg
Western Mail 23 Feb 1917 page 31
Personal Information
Date of Birth Not known
Place of Birth Warracknabeal, Victoria
Death 24 Jun 1917
Place of Death Messines (Mesen), Belgium
Age at Enlistment 27 years, 11 months
Description 5'7½" (1.71m) tall ; 150lbs
68.039 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Methodist
Address Brookton, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr George Reed
Military Information
Reg Number 989
Date of Enlistment 14 Mar 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion Headquarters, later posted to D Company.
Date of Embarkation 6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A29 Suevic Fremantle to Plymouth
Fate WIA 6 Mar 1917 Armentieres
KIA 24 Jun 1917 Messines
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Menin Gate Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

Electoral Roll entries: 1913 - 1916 East Brookton, farmer.

War Service

Thomas entered the Blackboy Hill camp on 14 Mar 1916, and after a fortnight's basic training was allocated otthe13th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion. Three weeks later he was transferred to the 1st reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion, and on 1 Jun 1916, just before the battalion shipped overseas, wastage in the main unit meant that he became a member of D Company of the 44th Battalion.

On arrival in England was sent to a Training Battalion to prepare for service in France and Belgium.

On 25 Nov 1916 Thomas proceeded overseas to France through Southampton. In France on 8 Dec 1916 he fell ill with the mumps and was admitted the next day to the 7th General Hospital in St Omer. He was discharged to the 3rd Division's Base Depot on 29 Dec 1916, and rejoined the 44th Battalion on New Years Day in the front line trenches at Armentieres. On 1 Feb 1917 Thomas was detached for duty to the 6th Field Artillery Brigade - his return to the unit is not noted.

On 6 Mar 1917 the Battalion's War Diary makes no mention of enemy action as it came out of the front lines near Armentieres. However, Thomas's individual records contain entries that tell of him receiving a gun shot wound to his right cheek and right side of his neck. (Possibly the action of a sniper). Seen by the 11th Australian Field Ambulance and treated till 8 Mar 1917, he was then transferred to the 3rd Division's Rest Station until 16 Mar 1917, when he rejoined the battalion.

The 44th Battalion returned to the front line just east of Messines on 21 Jun 1917, and on 24 Jun 1916 the enemy and the Australians exchanged artillery fire on each other's positions during the day. Thomas's records show only that he was Killed in action on that day, but Neville Browning's book gives further detail
"On June 24th (1917) work continued on the defences, despite enemy arillery…...at 10pm a heavy artillery barrage was fired on the front lines for an hour and intermittent shelling followed until daylight. Several men were killed during the bombardment; they were...Private T.A. Reed"[1]

Thomas's mother Elizabeth received a pension of 30/- ($3) per fortnight from 10 Sep 1917.

  • Menin Gate Memorial at sunset.
  • Section of 44th Battalion panels

Notes

  1. 'The Westralian Battalion - The Unit History of the 44th Battalion A.I.F., Neville Browning, Advance Press, 2004, page 144

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