Edward William Hales
Serial No. 907
Edward William Hales - Information
Edward was a member of a large family that had lived in Campbelltown. Edward was born in Campbelltown in 1893 to William and Maria Hales. In the early 1900s, the Hales family moved to Bonville on the North Coast of NSW. Here, Edward found work as a labourer. When he was 21, he decided to enlist in the AIF, followed by two of his older brothers, Henry and Thomas. Edward joined up at Liverpool on the 14th of July 1915.
During training at the Royal Showground Camp, he was assigned to the 30th Battalion. He was then shipped out from Sydney on the 9th of November 1915 aboard the HMAT Beltana. After receiving further training in Egypt, Edward arrived in France in June 1916. The following month, the 30th Battalion endured bitter fighting at Fromelles. Sadly, so many fell to rapid machine gun fire in No Man’s Land. After this tragic battle, his military career was hampered by military infractions and outbreaks of venereal disease. In November 1916, Edward was absent without leave, and failed to present himself for a military tattoo. In December, he had contracted VD and was shipped to hospital in England. By February 1917, Edward had completed various duties at Parkhouse and Perham Downs Camps. However, while at Perham Downs, he was again charged for being absent without leave, and in May 1917, Edward was back in hospital with a relapse of gonorrhoea. Until Edward recovered, he was attached to the Provost Corps in England. In October, he was shipped back to his unit in France. After returning to the trenches, Edward changed his tune. He was recommended for an award and mentioned in General Douglas Haig’s despatches. He was singled out for his brave actions as a member of a raiding party which entered a section of German trenches. Here, his party came face to face with a German bombing group and began exchanging fire. They fought courageously against the bombers, pushing them back down the trench. Once the Germans started taking casualties, they broke up and fled. After this success, Edward was then wounded in action on the 10th of May 1918. He received a severe gun shot wound to his left foot, and was subsequently invalided to hospital in England. Edward was still receiving treatment when the war ended. He required more treatment when he developed tonsillitis in May 1919, and was later sent back to Australia. Back home, Edward married Lillian Mary Henwood in Newtown in 1930, and started a life together in Macksville.