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Victor Norman Chandler MM

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Victor Norman Chandler MM
Chandler Victor Norman.jpg
The Drill of the Foot-Hills
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1896
Place of Birth Corowa, New South Wales
Death 16 Feb 1975
Place of Death Wannanup, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 4 months
Description 5'6½" (1.69m) tall ; 139 lbs
63.049 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair
Occupation Farmer
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Edwin Chandler
Military Information
Reg Number 2612
Date of Enlistment 13 Aug 1915
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement, Transferred to 51st Battalion D Company / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 2 Nov 1915 ‒ 26 Nov 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A38 Ulysses
Date of Return 28 Feb 1919 ‒ 10 Apr 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A68 Anchises
Fate Wounded in Action 2 Apr 1917 Noreuil
Wounded in Action 15 May 1918
Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Bedfordale panel)
Bedfordale Roll of Honour
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals Military Medal
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

War Service

Victor entered the Blackboy Hill camp on 13 Aug 1915 and was posted to the 22nd Depot Company. Two months later on 16 Oct 1918 he was allocated to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion and he travelled to Egypt with them.

Following further training in Egypt, along with six officers and 473 other ranks from the 7th Training Battalion at Zeitoun, he was transferred on 3 Mar 1916 to the newly raised 51st Battalion as one of its original members. Soon after their formation they spent time by the Suez Canal as a defensive force should it be attacked by the Turks, and trained in preparation for their move to France.

This journey began on 4 Jun 1916 with a march across the desert to the rail head at Serapeum where they boarded two trains of open trucks for Alexandria Harbour. Early the next day they detrained and embarked on HMT Ivernia for Marseilles in southern France. Arriving there on 11 JUne, they boarded trains the next day for the journey to northern France and the battlefields.

On 26 Sep 1916 Victor was promoted to Temporary Corporal "in the field", and on 1 Nov 1916 he was confirmed in that rank, and made an Acting Sergeant (without pay) in lieu of a colleague who had been captured by the Germans.

On 2 Apr 1917 during an attack on German positions near Noreuil he received a GSW to his left leg. Initially Victor was able to remain on duty, however, on the 6th he sought treatment from the 4th Australian Field Ambulance who sent him on to the 6th General Hospital in Rouen for further treatment, before being released to the 2nd Convalescent Depot. He had rejoined his unit by 25 Apr 1917 when he was promoted Sergeant.

At the start of September 1917 he was transferred to the 13th Training Battalion near Codford in England. While there he attended a course at the Southern Command Bombing School, qualifying as an instructor and therefore being retained by the training cadre at Codford.

On 30 Jan 1918 he returned to France via Southampton to rejoin his battalion, doing so on 10 Feb 1918 near Ypres as they began an 18 day stint in the front lines in cold weather.

"Sergeant V.N. Chandler crawled forward despite intensive machine gun fire from an enemy post and succeeded in outflanking the post. Chandler attacked the post from the rear, shot one of the gunners and captured two other Germans with three light machine guns. Chandler was subsequently awarded the Military Medal."[1]

On 15 May 1918 he was affected by Mustard Gas shelling, and required treatment from the 13th Australian Field Ambulance and then the 41st Stationary Hospital before again rejoining his unit a fortnight later. He spent two brief periods in hospital resulting from the gas exposure while his unit was holding the line just to the south east of Villers-Bretonneux.

On 16 Jun 1918 he reported ill with influenza, and soon after his recovery, was granted some leave in Paris. Victor was also granted leave in England in December 1918. He returned to England in late January 1919, and then onto Australia in early April, landing at Albany.

"...sailed to Egypt where he belonged to the force that guarded the Suez Canal. He went to France with the 51st Battalion, and has been promoted to Corporal.[2]

292nd Casualty List reports A/Sgt V.N. Chandler of Armadale as being wounded, but remained on duty.[3]

The unit's war diary records this as having happened in the front line south of Noreuil where they were attacking elements of the Hindenberg line south of the major attack on Bullecourt 1-2 days later. The 51st Battalion casualties for the action were 47 Killed and 192 WIA, some of whom died subsequently.[4]

409th Official List.. WOUNDED.. Sergeant Victor Norman Chandler. Armadale, second occasion, gas.[5]

Award Commentary

Military Medal:

"On 15th September, 1918 during an attack on enemy position near VERMAND North West of ST. QUENTIN, this N.C.O. showed splendid courage. When his platoon was held up by heavy machine gun fire he, at great personal risk, crawled forward under machine gun fire and succeeded in working his way to the rear of enemy post, killing 1 and capturing 2 others together with 3 machine guns. His gallant conduct was an example to all."[6][7]

Post War

Electoral roll entries - 1922 - 44 Orchardist at "Springvale" Armadale living with mother (and wife Hazel from 1925 - 1937). Mother Katrina lived with him until her death on 18 Oct 1944.

1949 - 1958 by himself at Springvale. 1968 - 72 at Wannanup Park, Mandurah with sisters Kathleen Mary and Irene Laurence [1968 only]. Remained there until his death in 1975, and Kathleen until her death in 1998 aged 83. Irene died in Armadale in 2009 aged 91.


Notes

  1. For King and Cobbers N Browning p. 315
  2. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 9. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 
  3. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,708). Western Australia. 5 May 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. [1]
  5. "WOUNDED.". The Daily News. XXXVII, (13,513). Western Australia. 15 June 1918. p. 9. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 115 page 1498, position 66, Date: 10 October 1919
  7. London Gazette 17 June 1919, page 7694, position 67

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