Ernest Joseph Whalan
Serial No. 3256
6th Light Horse Regiment
Ernest Joseph Whalan - Information
When the war began, Ernest Joseph Whalan was living with his family on Kenny Hill in Campbelltown. He was born in Liverpool c1891 to Rowland George and Isabella Whalan, before the family settled in Campbelltown. Ernest was working as a dairy farmer, when he decided to join the war effort. At the age of 26, he enlisted at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the 16th of November 1916. Ernest said goodbye to his family and commenced his training at the Royal Showground Camp. In late February 1917, he was assigned to the 6th Light Horse Regiment at Menangle Park. Ernest was then sent overseas, leaving Melbourne onboard the HMAT Boorara on the 10th of May 1917.
Ernest disembarked at Suez, Egypt on the 20th of June 1917. The following month, he was taken on strength to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment. From there, he went to the 2nd Brigade Supply Section in Moascar. In early August, he was then posted back with the 6th Light Horse Regiment. Throughout 1917, Ernest fought the Turkish forces in Palestine including the flanking manoeuvre around Gaza and Beersheba. In December, the 6th Regiment captured Jerusalem and chased the Turks as they fled into Jordan. Conducting raids in the Jordan Valley, Ernest began feeling unwell. In August 1918, he reported to an aid post with malaria. He was treated at various hospitals, and was still receiving treatment when the Turks surrendered in October. On the 17th of July 1919, Ernest was invalided home to Australia from the Suez Canal, with malaria. He was discharged from the military in October and returned to his family. Here, he reunited with many local friends who had also joined and served in the war.