Tuesday, 19 November 2013

David Christopher Anderson

David Christopher Anderson (Service No. 5030) enlisted on 29 January 1916. His name appears on the Mitcham War Memorial, Nunawading - returned and Vermont State School honour board.

The Attestation forms that can be viewed in the record for David in Discovering Anzacs state that David was born in Melbourne and enlisted in Melbourne. He was born in 1892 and was 23 years 5 months when he enlisted. His father, Martin Anderson was listed as next of kin and the address on the form was Vermont Post Office via Mitcham. David's occupation was listed as driver though in the electoral rolls immediately before and after the war the occupation was expanded to engine driver.

The Medical Report describes David's height as 5 feet 6 1/4 inches, weight 138 lbs, complexion fresh, eyes blue and hair brown. Religious denomination was given as C of E (Anglican). He was passed fit for service on 29 January 1916 and sent to the Reinforcements, Bendigo Depot until 9 March. On 10 March 1915 he was transferred to 7th Battalion AIF Reinforcements at Broadmeadows.

David embarked aboard HMAT Suffolk A23 on 1 April 1916. They travelled to Alexandria arriving possibly in mid May. On 28 May 1916 he transferred to the Cyclist Training Battalion until 7 September. Cyclists had been used to some extent during the Boer War but conditions on the Western Front were not really conducive to the use of bicycles in combat and when the fighting was on open plains bicycles were not as effective as cavalry. The cyclists were therefore mainly used as despatch riders. The following link provides information about the Anzac Cyclist Battalion. On 29 May David Anderson embarked on the HMT Briton at Alexandria to travel to England and disembarked at Plymouth on 8 June 1916.

On 8 September 1916 David transferred to the 46th Battalion AIF as a Private until 16 July 1917. On 22 September he embarked for France and joined the unit on 4 October 1916. He was detached to 12 Brigade Headquarters from 6 June 1917 until 26 June when he rejoined his unit. On 12 January 1918 he was detached for duty with 4th Australian Division Artillery.

One of the papers in David Anderson's file describes an incident in battle in July 1918.
46th Battn AIF 4th Australian Division
At SAILLY-le-Sec NE of CORBIE on night 7th/8th July 1918 during an advance this N.C.O. was in charge of a rifle Grenade section. The section was held up by enemy Machine Gun. Pte Anderson immediately rushed the position, killing the gunner and putting the gun out of action, thus allowing the section to advance. He displayed great courage and resourcefulness during the whole operation.

Australian Battlefields in France provides information about the battles occuring in France in July.

David's final posting was from 15 April 1919 to the Australian Corps Workshops until he was discharged from the AIF on 3 December 1919. The I Anzac Corps Workshops had been formed in May 1916 but when the Australian Corps was established the unit became the Australian Corps Workshops. The role of this unit was to maintain and repair engine equipment for Corps and Divisional units.

On17 July 1917 David Christopher Anderson was promoted to Lance Corporal.
On 19 July 1918 he was promoted to Temporary Corporal  and then to Corporal on 8 October 1919.

David Anderson embarked on the Main for Australia on 11 October 1919.

He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (recommended 22 July 1922),
the Military Medal on 18 August 1918 (Australian Government Gazette 14 March 1919 page 427),
the British War Medal on 4 January 1923
the Victory Medal on 4 January 1923
the 1914/15 Star

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