Bert Vivian Andrew
Serial No. 1401
Bert Vivian Andrew - Information
Bert Vivian Andrew was born in March 1890 in the Sydney suburb of Lewisham. His family had lived at Minto and ran a shop in Campbelltown. His sister Doris then cemented ties to the area by marrying Ernest Longhurst, a member of a prominent Campbelltown family whom had settled much of Kentlyn. When the war began, Bert was working as a painter and residing in Summer Hill. He then decided to enlist in the AIF in Sydney on the 1st February 1916.
After training, Bert embarked Sydney on the 4th of May 1916 on the HMAT Marathon, as part of the 33rd Battalion. He arrived at Devonport, England on the 9th of July and proceeded overseas to France in November. The following year, after a bitter winter in the trenches, Bert became quite ill, and was taken to hospital on the 15th of May. Six days later, he was transferred to the 51st General Hospital in Boulogne. By mid June 1917, Bert had rejoined his Battalion as a Lance Corporal. At the time, the 33rd Battalion were fighting during the Battle of Messines in Belgium amongst heavy artillery bombardments by both sides. The next objective was a believed breakthrough at Ypres. In October, Bert and his mates fought in the mud at Broodseinde and Passchendaele Ridge. However, by November, Bert was very ill. He spent some time at a Hospital in Rouelles and at the Infantry Base Depot before returning to his unit in December.
In the new year, Bert proved himself as the German Spring Offensive broke through the Allied line, their eye on seizing the rail junction at Amiens. The 33rd helped to halt the advance at Hangard Wood and Villers-Bretonneux. On the 4th of May 1918, Bert was promoted to Temporary Sergeant in the field, when his current Sergeant was evacuated. On the 22nd of June, Bert was wounded when he was shot in his upper right arm. Admitted to the 10th General Hospital in Rouen on the 24th, he was then evacuated to Brighton Hospital in England the following day. For the remainder of the war, Bert continued to have poor health, and remained in England. He was then sent home to Australia aboard the HT Orsova on the 8th of January 1919.