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Joseph Alexander Munro Whitehouse

Serial No:
Serial No. 92986

Railway Unit


Joseph Alexander Munro Whitehouse - Information

The Whitehouse family had come to the Campbelltown area from the Sydney suburbs. Joseph Alexander Munro, known as Alec, was born in Waverly on the 21st of October 1886. He was the oldest son of Joseph Henry and Catherine Whitehouse. In the mid 1890s, Joseph Henry moved the family to Eagleview Road in Minto where he set up a grape orchard. Sadly, in 1905, Alec and his family lost Catherine when she passed away in Minto on the 29th of November. Alec helped his father and younger brother and sisters cope with the loss, supporting the family working as a railway guard at Campbelltown Train Station. He then met and fell in love with Campbelltown local Olive Irene Spicer. They married in 1912, and were quickly blessed with a daughter, Nita Elizabeth. They then moved to the property of Shiloh on Sydney Rd, and were then joined by Alec's younger brother, Joseph Henry Jr. In 1914, Alec and Olive had a son, Lawrence Joseph Caldwell. However, soon, the relatively peaceful lives of the Whitehouses would change with the advent of war. In November 1915, Alec's father Joseph Henry, decided to join the military and serve his country. The following year, Alec's brother, Joseph Henry Jr. also enlisted for war service. However in July 1916, his father was discharged for being overage and returned home to the family. That same year, Olive's younger brother, George Leslie Spicer, also joined the colours and was shipped overseas.

The war continued to rage on. In 1918, after Joseph Henry Jr. returned home wounded, Alec decided to follow his family's example and sign up. He travelled into Sydney to enlist in the AIF on the 22nd of July 1918, at 30 years of age. Alec was posted to the Railway Unit and began his training. At the same time back in Campbelltown, Olive was worried about her husband's safety and struggling with the children. She wrote the army and asked for them to discharge Alec. She went on to explain that her children, Nita who was now 5 and Lawrence now 3, were sickly. Lawrence was near death's door, and had almost succumbed twice. She also stated how Alec's brother had returned home wounded, and that her father-in-law had enlisted, and that her only brother, George, was now serving at the front. The army agreed that Olive was struggling with difficult circumstances. As a result, Alec was discharged from military service.

Alec returned to his family in Campbelltown, where he continued to work at Train Station. He later moved the family to a residence at 13 Tolanthe St. Alec was able to watch his children grow up and marry before he passed away on the 17th of February 1948. He is buried at St Peters in Campbelltown.