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Herbert James Wallace


Serial No:
Serial No. 2249

45th Battalion


Herbert James Wallace - Information

Herbert belonged to an Ingleburn family. Herbert was born in Ingleburn in 1890 to Hugh and Sarah Ellen Wallace. Growing up in the area with his four siblings, he then began working as a labourer. Herbert watched many Campbelltown locals leave for war, and shortly after the Kangaroo March came to town, decided to enlist. He travelled all the way to Bathurst to sign up on the 4th of March 1916, after sending in an application form to Liverpool Camp. At Bathurst, Herbert was placed with the 4th Reinforcements, 45th Battalion as a Private. He then left Sydney on the 22nd of August 1916 on the HMAT Wiltshire.

Herbert disembarked in Plymouth in mid October. The following month, he was marched into the 12th Training Battalion at Codford. After learning trench tactics, he was shipped out from Folkestone to France in mid February 1917. A month later, he left the 4th Australian Division Base Depot to join his unit in the field. He met them in the chaos that followed the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. Ordered to advance on the fleeing troops, the Division headed to Bullecourt. Here, Herbert failed to return to his unit after attacks on the 11th of April and was listed as missing in action. He had actually been captured by the Germans at Riencourt. Unfortunately, his family only received news that he went missing. Sadly, they did not know if he was alive or dead. In early June, Herbert was interned in a camp in Limburg, Germany. Thus, on the 15th of August, Herbert's name finally appeared on POW lists, and in January 1918, the army was able to inform his family that he was alive and well. At the end of the month, Herbert was transferred to Munster II in Rembahn. After the war ended, Herbert and the other prisoners were repatriated to England on the 14th of January 1919. He was granted some much deserved leave to rest in February, before commencing his long awaited journey back home. He set off for Australia on the 5th of April 1919, sailing onboard the Armagh. When he reached Sydney, he underwent another medical examination as he was rather unwell. He explained that he had been feeling very lethargic ever since he was captured. Herbert tried to put his war experience behind him, joining in the celebrations at the ANZAC Buffet at The Domain in Sydney. In 1929, he married Hilda Nellie Allen in Granville. Herbert passed away in Liverpool in 1949.