Edgar Abraham Dennis
Serial No. 14931
1st Division Signal Company &2nd Division Signal Company
Edgar Abraham Dennis - Information
Edgar was born in Picton c1897 to Henry and Catherine Dennis. When the war began, Edgar was residing in Manly and working as a bank clerk. When he was 20 years old, he decided to do his bit and joined the military. He signed up in Sydney on the 11th of May 1916. Upon enlisting, he became a Sapper with the signallers. He trained with the Depot Signal Company at Moore Park, before boarding the HMAT Mashobra in Sydney on the 14th of September 1916 as part of the 1st Divisional Signal Company.
Edgar stepped off the ship in Plymouth Harbour in early November. He was then marched out to No. 3 Camp in Parkhouse. After further training, he departed Folkestone for France in late April 1917. Edgar was taken to Abbeville to join the 2nd Divisional Signal Company on the 4th of March. Edgar worked closely with the artillery, ensuring that communication between forward units and command were maintained. This would have been strenuous work, especially during the Battle of Messines in June and the Third Battle of Ypres which commenced on the 31st of July. The success of these campaigns was in part the use of a creeping barrage. This consisted of a wall of shrapnel and explosive shells that moved forward in front of an advancing infantry, providing a screen and taking out pockets of resistance. The only problem is that if something went wrong or communication was broken with artillery units, the barrage could fall away or on top of the infantry. During this campaign, Edgar began feeling unwell. Since October, he was affected by giddiness and shortness of breath as a result of mental and physical strain. However, Edgar pushed on through the pain, manning his post. In the new year, he was detached to the Australian General Base Depot in late March. However, his health continued to decline, and he was evacuated to England in April. He was given a medical exam, and was diagnosed with disordered action of the heart, (a form of what we now call, post traumatic stress disorder). He was considered unfit for active service and sent back to Australia for a medical discharge, boarding the HT Gaika on the 12th of May 1919. However, his shocking war experience would continue to effect his health, and he was subsequently awarded a pension.