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Thomas Brown Mack

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Thomas Brown Mack
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Personal Information
Date of Birth c1896
Place of Birth Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland
Death 23 Mar 1970, aged 75
Place of Death Maddington, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 20 years, 2 months
Description 5' 7¼" (1.71m) tall ; 125 lbs
56.699 kg
; fresh complexion ; light blue eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Presbyterian
Address Canningdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Archibald Mack
Military Information
Reg Number 2901A
Date of Enlistment 7 Jun 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 5th Pioneer Battalion, 6th Reinforcement, C Company / 5th Division
Date of Embarkation 30 Oct 1916 ‒ 28 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A16 Port Melbourne Fremantle to Devonport
Date of Return 15 Feb 1918 ‒ 6 Apr 1918
Ship Returned On SS Llanstephan Castle
Fate Wounded in Action 30 Sep 1917 at Polygon Wood
Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Bedfordale panel)
Bedfordale Roll of Honour
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

15 year old Thomas, along with 17 year old brother Robert and 9 year old sister Worthy, along with their father Archibald (42) and their mother Ann (43) arrived in Fremantle from London aboard SS Armadale on 10 Jul 1911. The males were described on the shipping list as farmers, while Ann was listed as a wife . 385 migrants, assisted by the WA Government were aboard the SS Armadale.

War Service

On entering camp, Tom was placed in the 72nd Depot Company until he was allocated to the 5th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion on 20 Jun 1916. However, on 4 Sep 1916 he was transferred to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 5th Pioneers and he travelled with them to England.

While his records are silent on his time in England we can assume that he spent the next three months with the Pioneer Training Battalion at Perham Downs.

On 28 Mar 1917 he proceeded to France from Folkestone and was taken on strength by the 5th Pioneer Battalion on 21 Apr 1917 near Flers where the battalion was finally being given a rest after 6 months solid work in or near the front lines. On 10 May 1917, near Vaulx-Vraucourt, intermittent enemy shelling killed 12 and wounded 23 other members of the 5th Pioneer Battalion, their heaviest casualties in the war to this point.

During the Menin Road Battle they provided support to a variety of units, but most of their efforts were spared for repairing roads to permit the movement of troops and stores. All of August and the first week of September 1917 was spent in a rest area to the west of Hazebrouck called Blaringhem.

During the evening of 29/30 Sep 1917, C Company of the 5th Pioneers was caught up in the allied barrage, with four killed, and Tom and six others wounded. Tom's wounds were described in a medical report as bomb wounds to his face, right arm above and below the elbow, and chest wall (penetrating). He was admitted to the 5th General Hospital in Rouen on 2 Oct 1917 before being evacuated to England on HMHS Panama on 17 Oct 1917, where the next day he entered the Stratford-on-Avon War Hospital.

Following treatment he was released on 10 Nov 1917 to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital until his wounds had practically healed on 3 Dec 1917. Following furlough from 4 - 18 Dec 1917 he reported to No.2 Command depot in Weymouth for return to Australia.

Discharged by 5th Military District on 12 Sep 1918.

"With the 5th Pioneers on 30th Oct 1916."[1]


Post War

On 27 April 1922 Thomas married Mabel Victoria Carlisle (1901-1973). Daughter Jean Ann was born on 18 May 1925 in Carlisle (d.2009); and son Thomas Archibald on 11 Sep 1930 in Carlisle (d.2000).

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 - 31 orchardist at Canningdale; 1936 at Albany road, Maddington; 1954 retired; 1968 at 1943 Albany Hwy, Maddington where Mabel remained until her death on 27 Oct 1973, aged 72.

References

  1. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 9. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 

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