Harold Cornwell Sippel
Serial No. 6571
Harold Cornwell Sippel - Information
The Sippel family were residing in the Campbelltown area, when Harold's younger brother, Leslie, was born in Glenfield. Sadly, both his parents passed away, and the Sippel children went to live with their grandmother, Mary Sippel. Mary had a property called Wandon on Rocky Point Rd in Kogarah. Spending his childhood on the coast, Harold then found work as a fisherman. In January 1916, Harold's younger brother, Albert, joined the AIF. Harold and Leslie then joined up together on the 27th of March 1916 at the Royal Showground Camp in Sydney, Harold was 24. They trained at Cootamundra and Liverpool, and were eventually placed with the 3rd Battalion as Privates. They were then sent overseas, leaving Sydney on the 7th of October 1916 on the HMAT Ceramic.
Harold and Leslie set down in Plymouth in late November. In January 1917, they left Folkestone for France and soon joined the 3rd Battalion in the lines. Sadly, in early March, Harold's brother, Albert, was killed in action. Harold then fell rather ill, and reported to hospital at the end of March for a month. Shortly, after he returned, he and Leslie participated in the Second Battle of Bullecourt, an assault on the Hindenburg Line. Here, they were both wounded on the 4th of May. Some days later, Harold was evacuated to England. He was hit in the right leg, and was admitted to the Military Hospital on Grove Rd in Richmond. By October, he had recovered and was taken back to France to the 3rd Battalion during the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium. Just nine days after he returned, he was unfortunately wounded again, hit in his right thigh on the 29th of October. The following month, he was evacuated to England to the Military Hospital in Canterbury. The wound healed nicely, and in the new year, he was undergoing training at Larkhill. In mid April 1918, he arrived back in France, and was marched out to the Australian Infantry Base Depot. He returned to the 3rd Battalion, in the aftermath of the devastating German March Offensive. They had gained much ground, and the Allies were desperate to turn the tide. Harold was then wounded in action a third time, on the 24th of June. He was caught in a bomb blast which sent shrapnel into his right eye. He was rushed for treatment at Rouen, and on the 27th, was invalided to England. The damage to his eye was severe. The eyeball was excised at the 4th London General Hospital, Denmark Hill. Harold was fitted for a glass eye, which inexplicably got broken in September. He received a new one, before commencing his voyage back home to Australia on the 10th of December for a medical discharge.