Frederick John Whittingham
Serial No. 3152
3rd Battalion & 55th Battalion
Frederick John Whittingham - Information
Frederick John was born on the 14th of July 1886 in Rose Bay. By the time the war started, he was living on Queen St in Campbelltown with his mother Annabella Whittingham. Frederick worked in the area as a clerk, and when he was 30 years old, elected to enlist in the AIF. On the 1st of August 1915, Frederick signed up at Warwick Farm. After training, he was sent overseas, departing Sydney Harbour on the 8th of October 1915 on the HMAT Warilda.
Frederick landed in Egypt at the end of 1915. Upon arrival, he was feeling ill and reported to Suez Hospital at Ferry Post with the mumps. In mid December, he was stationed to Base Details in Cairo. By early February 1916, he was then taken on strength to the 3rd Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir Camp. A week later, he was transferred to the 55th Battalion, and after completing further training was sent to France. Frederick arrived at Marseilles on the 29th of June. The Battalion then participated in brutal action during the Battle of Fromelles on the 19th of July. Here, the 5th Division was decimated, loosing more than half its strength killed, wounded or captured. Shaken and exhausted, they continued to man the line in that sector for some months, before being stationed to the Somme region. When the weather turned bitterly cold towards the end of the year, Frederick became ill. He was admitted to hospital with influenza at the beginning of November, and returned to his unit on Christmas Eve. In the new year, the 55th advanced towards the Germans following their withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, securing the trenches around Bullecourt. In 1917, the Allies suffered a series of severe blows. To alleviate pressure, General Haig developed plans for an assault at Ypres in Belgium. Fighting in the deep mud, the 55th attacked the Germans at Polygon Wood. After some rest out of the lines, Frederick completed a course at the Division Signal School from mid February until March 1918. However, his return to duty was hindered by illness. He was taken by the 15th Field Ambulance to the 9th Canadian Stationary Hospital with influenza. On the 30th of March, he was transferred to the 7th Convalescence Depot. By April, he was recuperating on lighter duties at the Base Depot, before returning to his unit in early June. After the war ended, he was transported back to England for a special furlough home to Australia. He was marched out to Weymouth before embarking on the Berrima in early January 1919.
Frederick returned to his family in Campbelltown. He eventually got married and began a family, while working as a labourer. Sadly, he was to loose his wife, before moving to 48 Railway St in Wentworthville. When the Second World War began, he was still in Wentworthville living with his daughter, Patricia. Frederick then re-enlisted in the army on the 20th of June 1941 in Paddington, aged 54. He was stationed to the General Details Depot, and was then posted to Bathurst. However, poor health was to again stifle his military service. On the 21st of July, he reported to hospital sick for a week, and continued to be in and out of treatment with bronchitis. In December, he was medically discharged and returned home.