Arthur Bruce Ferguson
Temporary Company Quartermaster Sergeant
Serial No. 5567
19th Battalion & 20th Battalion
Arthur Bruce Ferguson - Information
When the war commenced, Arthur was living at Hillside on Villiers St in Bexley, Sydney, with his mother Annie. Arthur was born in Camden on the 10th of June 1899. The family had established and worked at the F. Ferguson & Son Nurserymen in Camden and Hurstville, a tree farm. It was established by Arthur’s grandfather in the 1850s, and was where he was born. The family relocated to Sydney after Arthur’s father, Francis, passed away in 1899. Arthur eventually found employment as an accountant, before deciding to enlist in the AIF. He signed up in Casula on the 9th of January 1916. Arthur was made a Corporal with the 15th Reinforcements, 19th Battalion, before boarding the HMAT Euripides in Sydney on the 9th of September 1916.
Arthur made it to Plymouth Harbour in late October, and was transported to France in mid December. A few days later, he joined the 19th Battalion in the field, and reverted to Private. At the time, the troops were experiencing the worst winter of the war. Bitter cold and heavy rains turned the trenches into mud-filled nightmares. Early the following year, the Germans shortened their line by withdrawing to a series of defence fortifications known as the Hindenburg Line. Well-defended, the Germans were now protected by concrete blockhouse, interlocking machine gun nests and thick barbed wire. As the Allies chased them, a myriad of battles ensued. The 19th was drawn into fire at Lagnicourt in March. Arthur was appointed Lance Corporal on the 2nd of April and Corporal the next day. During the Second Battle of Bullecourt on the 3rd of May, an assault on the Hindenburg Line, Arthur was wounded. He was hit in the left shoulder by shrapnel. It was a superficial wound, and rejoined the unit almost two weeks later. Mid year, the 19th Battalion were relocated to Belgium to participate in the Third Battle of Ypres, launching assaults at Menin Road and Poelcappelle. However, prolonged poor weather turned the battlefield into a quagmire and hampered progress. Consequently, after the Canadians seized Passchendaele in November, the campaign was called off. The troops settled in for another cold winter in the mud. However, combat stress and exposure affected Arthur’s health, and he reported to hospital on the 8th of December. At the end of the month, Arthur was granted some much coveted Blighty Leave for almost a month. He was back on the Western Front, as the Germans were making a move to achieve victory before the bulk of American troops reached France. They struck, launching their Spring Offensive. They were initially successful, and once again came very close to Paris. However, their momentum was hindered with Australian counter attacks such as at Hangard Wood, which involved the 19th Battalion. The Allies then began to push back. A decisive blow came with the Battle of Amiens in early August. After this attack, Arthur was promoted Lance Corporal on the 24th, and on the 29th, was shipped to Tidworth Camp in England for training. In October, he was transferred to the 20th Battalion and promoted to Temporary Company Quartermaster Sergeant. He was still in England when the Armistice was announced on November 11th.
Arthur boarded the Karoa for his journey back to Australia. Shortly after he returned, he married Flora McLeod, and then Edith Astridge in Bowral in 1941. He passed away in Rockdale in 1949.