Thomas Hughie Culbertson

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Thomas Hughie Culbertson
Personal Information
Date of Birth 13 Apr 1891
Place of Birth Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Death 16 Mar 1954
Place of Death Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 25 years, 11 months
Description 5' 3½" (1.61m) tall ; 125 lbs
56.699 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Presbyterian
Address Various, wife at 103 Tower street, Leederville
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Daisy Jessica Cuthbertson
Military Information
Reg Number 6503
Date of Enlistment 12 Apr 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 21st Reinforcements (Signaller), transferred to 1st Division Signals
Date of Embarkation 13 Oct 1916 ‒ 2 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A23 Suffolk Fremantle to Plymouth
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate 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

Married Daisy Jessica Redford in Leederville on 3 Sep 1916 prior to travelling overseas.

Birth Notice Culbertson (nee Redford) On June 13, at their residence, Tower street Leederville, the wife of Private T. Culbertson, on active service, a son (Harry Valentine named after an uncle Harry Valentine Buck of B Company 20th Battalion who was killed at Pozieres on 29 Jul 1916)[1]

War Service

Tom entered Blackboy Hill camp on 12 Apr 1916 and was allocated to the 62nd Depot Company. On 1 May 1916 he was posted to the 21st Reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion, and on 30 May 1916 identified for and posted to the Signal School while remaining a member of the reinforcement draft.

On arrival in England was posted to 3rd Training Battalion at Durrington before moving to France on 16 Jul 1917 via Southampton. While at Durrington he had been AWOL for four days, from midnight 25 May 1917 until midnight 29 May 1917, resulting in the loss of 9 day's pay and spending 4 days in detention.

Tom joined the 11th Battalion on 4th August 1917 along with 78 others in a rest area at Bayenghem-les-Seninghem, west of Armentiès. However, a fortnight later he was sent to HQ 3rd Infantry Brigade, and then later to the 1st Division Signal Company with whom he remained until after hostilities ceased.

In March 1918 he had again taken four days unauthorised leave, this time earning him 28 days Field Punishment No.2 (see notes), and forfeiture of 39 days pay. On 15 Mar 1919 he rejoined the 11th Battalion at Chatelet. He remained with them in France until Anzac Day eve 1919 when he travelled to London to await shipment home.

Discharged by the 5th Military District on 15 Aug 1919.

Post War

Death Notice for Harry Valentine who died at the Children's Hospital, Perth on 25 Feb 1919 aged 1 year, 8 months. [2] So Tom was to never to meet his son as he had not arrived home as yet. The West Australian 26 June 1919 P. 6 The list of returning soldiers on the Somali includes 6503, Pte Culbertson, T, 11th Bn.[3]

1925 Electoral Roll has Tom (farmer growing tomatoes and vegetables) and Daisy at Muchea where she had lived with her mother and sisters while he was away; the Sunday Times 21 Dec 1924 p.23 includes a tender request for purchase of the 160 acre farm in Tom's name being forced under the Agricultural Land Act.

By 6 Oct 6 1928 when a daughter (Dorothy Evelyn Beatrice) was born they are in Stephen street, Queens Park with Tom a labourer. In 1932 a son Horace R, followed, and a sister for Dorothy arrived on Nov 15th 1934. In 1943 they had moved to Wharf street, Cannington.

Death notices in The West Australian 18 Mar 1954 p.36 indicate that Tom's death was sudden, and that his surviving children were: Thomas Hudson (b.1923), John Henry (b. 1923), Cyril Herbert (b.1924), Betty, Dorrie, Horace Rueben (b. 1932), Violet, and that he was father in law to Eileen, Mavis, Kath, Bob, Keith, Helen and Reg.

Daisy continued to live in the home after Tom's death until her own on 12 Mar 1976.


Field punishment could be awarded by a court martial or a commanding officer for any offence committed on active service. There were two categories of field punishment. Field punishment No. 2 consisted of heavy labouring duties, and several hours a day shackled . All offenders awarded field punishment would march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.

  1. "Family Notices". Western Mail. XXXII, (1,647). Western Australia. 20 July 1917. p. 26. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "Family Notices". Western Mail. XXXIV, (1,732). Western Australia. 7 March 1919. p. 26. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "COMING HOME". The Daily News. XXXVIII, (13,826). Western Australia. 26 June 1919. p. 6 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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