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Albert Ernest Selems


Serial No:
Serial No. 1993

45th Battalion


Albert Ernest Selems - Information

Albert was a son of Campbelltown native George Henry and Christina Selems. The Selems had lived in Campbelltown, where Albert was born in 1897. Sadly, Albert lost his mother at a young age, when she passed away in 1901. His father then remarried Martha Ellen Trevner in Camden in 1904. George and Martha added to their large family as Albert enjoyed his rural upbringing with his new siblings. When the war commenced, he was living in Parramatta, where he worked as a grocer. Albert joined the colours on the 21st of February 1916 in Bathurst. Training at Bathurst Depot, he was posted to the 3rd Reinforcements, 45th Battalion as a Private. He then departed Sydney on the 22nd of April 1916 on the HMAT Warilda.

In mid July, Albert arrived at Plymouth Harbour, and was marched into the 12th Training Battalion. In September, he proceeded to France to the Australian Division Base Depot, before joining the 45th Battalion in the field. After suffering through a bitter winter, Albert was appointed Lance Corporal on the 4th of March 1917. At the time, the 45th Battalion were in reserve as the Corps attacked the Hindenburg Line, a mighty defence segment of the German frontline. Albert was then made Temporary Corporal on the 4th of June. Just three days later, he was rushing the German lines at the beginning of the Battle of Messines. Here, Albert was classified as wounded in action and taken out of the lines with exhaustion. He rejoined his unit after some rest, a week and a half later. However, he was still rather unwell, and was subsequently diagnosed with trench fever. Messines Ridge was successfully captured, and the 45th were consolidating their new position when unfortunately, Albert was wounded in action on the 7th of July. He received an abrasion to his head and a bullet through his right thigh. In early August, he was evacuated to England, admitted to the King George Hospital in Stanford. His head wound was severe; the impact of had fractured his skull. As a result, he was invalided back to Australia on the 1st of November 1917. Receiving a medical discharge, he returned home to his family. Albert quickly carried on with his life, marrying Lorna Smith in Auburn in 1918. Albert and his family settled in Greenacre, before he passed away in Concord in 1970.