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14th Field Artillery Brigade, Australian Imperial Force in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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14th Field Artillery Brigade, Australian Imperial Force

21st October 1916 Relocations  236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery are south of Watou. One section of each battery moved up to relieve the 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th Batteries and 104th Howitzer Battery belonging to the 2nd Australian Division Artillery. One Battery of the 238th Brigade was lent to the 236th Brigade for this purpose.

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Those known to have served with

14th Field Artillery Brigade, Australian Imperial Force

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Pte. James Robertson 14th Field Artillery Brigade

My grandfather James Robertson emigrated from Glasgow to Queensland in 1909 aged 16, together with his widowed father and younger brother. He married in 1913 and his first daughter was born in 1914. Both he and his younger brother volunteered and enlisted in September 1915. They were first shipped to Egypt aboard the "Kyarra" in January 1916, disembarking at Alexandria in February 1916. Both were 'taken on strength' at Serapum. I believe that they took part in what's described as the 'never-to-be-forgotten' march from Tel-el-Kebir to Ferry's Post. They were shipped to France in August 1916 and the records suggest James fought at Fromelles. In January 1917 James was reported having 'oedema of the foot' and was shipped to England. He was at Southwark Military Hospital from 1st February until 17th February 1917 and then taken to Larkhill on Salilsbury Plain. Altogether he was out of action for 18 months and only returned to France toward the end of the war. On 31st January 1918 it is reported he was a gunner attached for duty with Permanent Cadre of Reserve Brigade Australian Army, Heytesbury, Wiltshire.

On 8th October 1918 he left Southampton for France, on 2nd November 1918 he was wounded in action and reported as being gassed. As we all know, nine days later the war ended. However, not until 30th March 1919 did he leave France for England. And not until 15th May 1919 did he finally sail, aboard the Orontes back to Australia. My mother was born in 1923.

In 1946 my grandfather obviously had not had enough of war and he put his age down by nine years and volunteered again. This time he was made a POW of the Japanese in Singapore and shipped to Siam where I can only assume he took part in helping to build the Siam-Burma railway. Amazingly, he survived WW2 also and lived to be 66 years old. He never lost his strong Glaswegian accent and, to my knowledge, he never spoke about what he'd seen or done.

The postscript to this story is that I moved from Australia to England in 1973 and have lived in East Dulwich since 1991. I had no idea that my grandfather had been in East Dulwich until a year ago and still can't quite believe it.

Karen Chessell


Chap. Keith Stewart Cresswell Single 20th Infantry Battalion

Keith Stewart Cresswell Single was born on 6 September 1887 at Cowra, New South Wales. Educated at Moore College in theological studies, Single was a clerk in Holy Orders when he joined the Australian Imperial Force as a chaplain on 17 March 1915. He embarked with the 20th Infantry Battalion on board HMAT Berrima in June of 1915. Upon arrival at Gallipoli he was attached to the 5th Brigade and stayed with them without break until November 1916.

During 1917 Single was attached to multiple units, including the 14th Australian Field Ambulance and the 14th Field Artillery Brigade, but the pressures of war were beginning to take their toll. In November 1917 he acknowledged that he was no longer meeting the standard of work of which he felt he was capable. He attributed the lowering of this standard to the strain of service without break, and, feeling he could offer better service back in Australia, he resigned his commission from the AIF.

Keith Single was then transferred to Sutton Veny in England to be with the 2nd Training Battalion before he returned home on board SS Port Darwin on 11 January 1918.

S Flynn

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