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Gilbert Manson


Serial No:
Serial No. 3815

15th Battalion & 47th Battalion


Gilbert Manson - Information

Gilbert Manson came to Australia from Scotland and settled in Sydney. Here, he met and fell in love with Martha Worrell, marrying in Newtown in 1913. When the war commenced, Gilbert and Martha were residing in Byron Bay, where Gilbert worked as a seaman. When he was 32, Gilbert travelled to Lismore to enlist in the AIF on the 18th of August 1915. He commenced his training, and was posted to the 15th Battalion. Just days after Gilbert left for Camp, Martha relocated to Campbelltown to be with her family. The Worrells had settled in the area in the early 1900s. Gilbert was then sent overseas, sailing from Sydney on the HMAT Suffolk on the 30th of November 1915.

Gilbert landed in Egypt, and was transferred to the 47th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir Camp. Then in early June 1916, he left Alexandria for the trenches in France. Shortly after arriving, the 4th Division were mustered as reinforcements for the Somme Campaign. Thus, Gilbert and his unit headed to the Somme for attacks on Pozières. On the 15th of August, in attempts to push onto Mouquet Farm, Gilbert became surrounded by Germans soldiers and was captured. While a prisoner, Gilbert was taken from Cambrai to a camp in Dulmen, Germany. He was then transferred to Larger 1 in Munster. Martha and her family in Campbelltown were then informed of Gilbert’s capture, although they were worried, at least he was out of the fighting. At the camp, he was put to work in the coal mines until November 1918 when the war ended. He was then repatriated and sent back to Australia on the 9th of February 1919 onboard the HMAT Ascanius. Upon his arrival home, Gilbert and Martha were invited to the ANZAC Buffet in Sydney in celebration of his safe return. However, he was not 100%, and was subsequently admitted to the 4th Australian General Hospital in Randwick. He was feeling very weak and had a rapid pulse. This was a direct result of his war service, and strenuous work in the coalmines in Germany. From the outset of war, the British Navy had blockaded the North Sea. As a result, Germany could not import food, foodstuffs, raw and manufactured goods. This caused much misery and starvation for not only the civilian population, but also, those in the military. As you can imagine, Gilbert’s experience as a prisoner of war, would have been rough.