Dudley Thomas Clyde Funnell
Serial No. 126
Dudley Thomas Clyde Funnell - Information
Dudley was born in Narellan on the 27th of May 1895 to Henry and Eliza Funnell. Henry worked as a blacksmith, and he and Eliza were blessed with many children, while living in the Camden area. In the early 1900s, the family relocated to 17 City Rd in Darlington. Here, Dudley supported himself working as a cook. On the 5th of August, Australia declared war on Germany. Shortly afterwards, the recruitment booths opened. Dudley then enlisted in Randwick on the 24th of August 1914. He was made a Private with the 1st Battalion, and sent overseas for war service onboard the HMAT Afric, which departed Sydney Harbour on the 18th of October 1914.
Dudley and all the eager lads landed in Egypt. They endured a lengthy training period before taking part in the Gallipoli Campaign. The 1st Battalion took part in the second and third waves of landings at Anzac Cove on the 25th of April 1915. The men scrambled up the ridges and valleys running into stiff Turkish resistance. In order to gain a foothold, the men dug in. Stalemate soon developed, leading to months of bitter fighting in the trenches. In late July, he reported to the Overseas Base at Mustapha. A week later, he reported to the 15th General Hospital in Alexandria with ear trouble. On the 8th of August, he embarked for England, admitted to the Military Hospital in Hampstead with otitis. After he recovered and received further training, he headed to France in late May 1916 to rejoin the 1st Battalion. At the time, they were being positioned for operations during the Somme Campaign. During attacks at Pozières, Dudley was wounded on the 22nd of July, when a bullet struck his buttocks. He was transported from the 44th Casualty Clearing Station to Etaples by Ambulance Train on the 24th of July. His wound was superficial, and once the bullet was removed, healed quickly. However, the following month, he began to suffer with appendicitis. In mid September, he was evacuated to England to the Military Hospital in Nottingham. Returning to duty a month later, he was shipped back to France to the 1st Battalion. Unfortunately, at the time the I ANZAC Corps were back in the Somme Valley. The previous bombardments and heavy rainfall turned the battlefield and trenches into cratered pools of slush. The weather was bitterly cold, and moving about in mud up to one’s thighs was exhausting. It was a most miserable experience, and resultantly, many soldiers became ill. Dudley was no exception, reporting to a Casualty Clearing Station with influenza on the 26th of January 1917. By the start of February, he was invalided to England to Norfolk War Hospital in Norwich. The infection had grown worse, leaving him feeling very debilitated. After some rest, clean sheets and warm meals, Dudley began to feel better. He was granted a furlough in March, before returning to duty at Perham Downs. He was again sent back to the Western Front, rejoining his unit on the 26th of July. They were about to go into action during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here, Dudley was appointed Lance Corporal on the 13th of October. A week later, he was wounded a second time. On the 22nd of October 1917, they were shelled heavily, sending shrapnel flying, and unfortunately Dudley got hit in the face and cheek. The 3rd Field Ambulance rushed him to the Casualty Clearing Station. The next day, he was admitted to the 55th General Hospital in Boulogne. After recovering, Dudley enjoyed some much needed convalescence at a Rest Camp. He was lucky to miss another winter in the frontlines. He rejoined hit unit in early March 1918. Sadly, shortly after returning, he was wounded once again. On the 17th of April, while fending off German advances at Hazebrouck, another artillery shell sent shrapnel into his right shoulder and chest. He received initial treatment from the staff of the 1st Field Ambulance, before being transported to the 15th Casualty Clearing Station. Three days later, he was admitted to the 7th Stationary Hospital. However, his wound became terribly infected, and he was evacuated to England in mid June, to Fulham Military Hospital. The injury to his shoulder caused much damage to the tissue and ligaments. Therefore, by August, he was invalided back to Australia, departing England on the 19th of October 1918, bound for Sydney.
While at sea, the war ended. After he received his medical discharge, Dudley reunited with his family. After more than four years away, experiencing many horrible battles, Dudley was a changed man.