Shoeing Smith Corporal
Serial No. 1155
12th Light Horse Regiment &5th Divisional Ammunition Column
Herbert Chesham - Information
The Cheshams moved from Richmond to Camden. Herbert, known as Bert, was born in Richmond c1893 to John and Sarah Chesham. They moved to a residence on Elizabeth St, where Bert found work as a general labourer. When Bert was 21, he decided to join the AIF, and was shortly followed by his older brother, Hilton. Bert enlisted on the 6th of July 1915 at Warwick Farm. He became a Trooper with the 6th Reinforcements, 12th Light Horse Regiment, and was then shipped out onboard the SS Hawkes Bay which left Sydney Harbour on the 21st of October 1915.
Bert arrived in Egypt, where he was later transferred to the 5th Division Artillery at Heliopolis in early April. On the same day, he was mustered as a Gunner to the 5th Divisional Ammunition Column at Moascar. The following month, Bert was appointed Shoeing Smith, and posted to No. 2 Section. He then left Alexandria in mid June for Marseilles, France. Bert’s job was to help transport vital ammunitions to artillery units along the front for operations. On the 15th of November, he was promoted to Shoeing Smith Corporal or Farrier Corporal. On the 17th of November 1917, Bert accidentally wounded himself when he stabbed his right forearm. He was taken to a Casualty Clearing Station, then to the General Hospital in Etaples by mid December. A Court of Inquiry was held into the incident. It was deemed an accident. In January 1918, Bert left the Australian General Base Depot to meet his unit at the front. Sadly, in May, Bert’s brother Hilton, was killed in action. Bert remained with his unit until after the war ended. He worked with various units throughout 1919, before being sent home, leaving England on the Port Melbourne on the 5th of July 1919. He was discharged on the 20th of October and returned to his civilian life. In 1920, Bert married Lillah Harris in Canterbury. By 1958, Bert was in a State Hospital in Liverpool.