Serial No. 1152/94917
Kenneth Brodie - Information
As a child, Ken Brodie, a ward of the state, was placed in the care of William and Louisa Longhurst. The Longhursts were part of a prominent Campbelltown family whom had settled most of Kentlyn, developing vast orchards and farms. Ken was born on the 27th of June 1896 in Nowra and was later reared by William and Louisa. When he was older, Ken completed an apprenticeship with his step-father William as an orchardist. Ken was still working as an orchardist, when at just 19 years of age; he enlisted at Liverpool Camp on the 13th of April 1915.
Ken was assigned as a Private to the 20th Battalion. A couple of months later, his unit departed Sydney Harbour on the 25th of June 1915 aboard the HMAT Berrima. On the 16th of August, he joined the 20th Battalion in the lines at Gallipoli. The coastline was soon caked in snow as a blizzard hit the Peninsula. Towards the end of the campaign, Ken was taken ill on the 14th of December. Hospitalised in Alexandria, he was then admitted to the 19th General Hospital. He was then given time to recuperate at the 2nd Auxiliary Hospital in February 1916. By the end of March, Ken had rejoined his unit and proceeded overseas to France, landing at Marseilles. He was not in the lines long, before he was wounded in action on the 26th of July near Pozières Village, during the Somme Offensive, hit in his right hand. He was taken to hospital in Rouen and in late July was taken to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in England. His right index finger had to be amputated due to the gun shot wound. He then enjoyed some recuperation at Weymouth, and was remarkably detached for duty with his Battalion in mid January 1917, returning to the fighting in France. Here, Ken's unit was involved in following and capturing old German trenches, after they had withdrawn to the Hindenburg Line, running into stiff resistance at Lagnicourt. On the 1st of April, he was appointed to Lance Corporal, and just three days later was promoted to Temporary Corporal.
As the 20th Battalion were preparing for an assault on the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt, Ken was again wounded on the 2nd of May. He received gun shot wounds to the chest and left arm. He was rushed out of the line and admitted to the 5th General Hospital. Ken survived his wounds, receiving further treatment in England. A medical review board found that Ken was medically unfit for active service. He was sent home on the 25th of August 1917 upon the HMAT Benalla, reaching Australia in late October.
Ken soon returned to Campbelltown and the Longhursts. Residing on Queen St, Ken started working for the railway as the war raged on. Then quite astonishingly, Ken chose to re-enlist. On the 30th of September 1918 in Sydney, he signed up again. He was stationed at the Depot Base when the war ended, and was later discharged in December 1918.