Harold Alonzo Pidcock
Serial No. 2878
3rd Pioneer Battalion, 1st Pioneer Battalion & 2nd Field Company Engineers
Harold Alonzo Pidcock - Information
When the war began, Harold was living with his family at Cresant on Crown St in Queenscliffe near Manly. The Pidocks moved to Queenscliffe from Ingleburn, where Harold was born c1893. When he was older, Harold found work as a carpenter. He and his younger brother, Lyall, decided to join the war effort and enlist in the AIF. They signed up at the Royal Showground Camp on the 7th of August 1916, Harold was 23. Training at Cootamundra, they were posted to the 8th Reinforcements, 1st Pioneer Battalion. By mid October, they posted to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion. On the 9th of November 1916, Harold and Lyall boarded the HMAT Benalla in Sydney departing for war service.
The Benalla sailed into Devonport in early January 1917. Harold and Lyall were then marched out to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion for exercises. At Perham Downs, Harold went absent without leave and failed to attend a tattoo roll. Then in late April, he sprained his ankle and was admitted to Tidworth Military Hospital, before joining his brother at Engineer Details in Brightlingsea. At the end of October, Harold left Southampton for France, joining the 2nd Field Company Engineers in early November. Harold worked hard to support frontline troops. He was supposed to be on leave in England when the war ended. However, he failed to return to duty and was unaccounted for. On the 23rd of January 1919, he was brought before a Court Martial. He was found guilty for going absent without leave from the 29th of October until the 16th of November 1918. Lucky for Harold, the war was over, and he was only fined 14 days pay. This did not deter him from receiving further AWL charges throughout 1919. In March, Harold was suffering with severe bronchial pneumonia, and in mid June, he was sent back to Australia, reuniting with his family in Queenscliffe.