Saturday, 16 November 2013

Arthur Andreas Anderson - part 1

The first name in the list of soldiers from Whitehorse who died at Gallipoli in 1915 was Arthur Andreas Anderson, Service No. 801, 8th Light Horse Brigade. As an exercise I decided to see how much information could be located about Arthur and his family.

The Diggers Database for Whitehorse and Manningham includes entries for Arthur and two of his brothers, David Christopher Anderson and Frederick Martin Anderson, who were also soldiers. The database lists five memorials where Arthur's name is recorded – Nunawading-in memorium, Box Hill War Memorial, Mitcham War Memorial, Vermont State School and the All Australian Memorial Book.

 The next step was to check for information on the National Archives of Australia site - Discovering Anzacs.  This site provides copies of documents relating to the military service of Arthur Anderson. 

The Attestation Papers filled in when he applied to enlist give his place of birth and place of enlistment as Melbourne and his next of kin is his father, Martin Anderson. The address is given as Vermont Post Office (postal address). Arthur was 21 when he enlisted. The date he enlisted was given as 21 September 1914 and he signed the oath on 7 November 1914. Britain had declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914 and so from that time Australia was also at war. Therefore Arthur Anderson was one of the first Australians to enlist.  Arthur's occupation was listed as a farrier and he was recruited to the 4th reinforcements of the 8th Light Horse.

The Medical Examnination papers provide a description of the soldier. Arthur was 5 feet 5 3/4 inches tall, weighed 5 stone 7 lbs, had a medium complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and his religious denomination was C of E (Anglican). He was passed medically fit for active service on 21 September 1914. This form was signed again by a commanding officer at Broadmeadows on 10 March 1915, three days before he left Australia.

The Statement of Service papers state that Arthur Anderson was at the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) Depot from 21 September 1914 until 9 February 1915 when he transferred to the 8th Light Horse. There was an AIF Training Depot at Broadmeadows.

A copy of a filing card provides the information that Private Arthur Andreas Anderson embarked at Melbourne per H.M.A.T A18 "Wiltshire" on 13-3-15. They would have sailed to Egypt. The next entry on the card states 13/7/15 Taken on strength (joined unit and placed on rations) of 8th LHR from Reins. There are two more references on the card. Arthur Andreas Anderson was killed in action on 7 August 1915 at Gallipoli and buried the same day at Anzac North by Rev Makeham. 

This information is also provided on the Casualty form and the Field Service form. Additional information about where trooper Anderson was buried is supplied on the Graves Registration paper - Point Cemetery, Ari Burnu, ANZAC, Gallipoli. Another paper states that he was buried in row 1, grave 8.

The Inventory of Effects lists a brown paper parcel containing a disc and a chain. On 25th April Martin Anderson signed a card acknowledging the receipt of the parcel which also contained letters and cards. The package had been sent via Thomas Cook & Son on the ship, Argyleshire. On November 30, 1915, Elizabeth Anderson had written a letter to the Secretary of the Minister of Defence, Melbourne, enquiring when her son's effects would be returned and received a reply dated 6 December.

The service files held at National Archives of Australia therefore provide a detailed outline of the military service of each soldier.

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