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Oswald Cleveland Pain

Lance Corporal

Serial No:
Serial No. 4873

1st Battalion & 53rd Battalion


Oswald Cleveland Pain - Information

Oswald, known as Ralph, was born at Elstow on Meredith St in Homebush. Ralph grew up in the Campbelltown area, attending Campbelltown Grammar School, and finished up his education in Sydney. When the war began, Ralph and his family were residing at 81 Milson Rd in Cremorne. He eventually found work as a traveller. When he was 28, he enlisted in the AIF on the 25th of August 1915 in Warwick Farm. During training, he was made a Private with the 5th Reinforcements, 1st Battalion. He was then shipped overseas, departing Sydney on the 8th of March 1916 onboard the HMAT Star of England.

In April, he disembarked in Egypt, where he was transferred to the 53rd Battalion in Ismalia. In June, Ralph and his new unit were taken to the Western Front, and were shortly introduced to the horrors of trench warfare. The 53rd Battalion were positioned for an attack at Fromelles, designed to straighten out a salient and occupy German forces from reaching the Somme Sector. During the Battle of Fromelles of 19-20th July, the 5th Division ran into a mass of machine gun fire resulting in many casualties. Ralph was classed as missing in action, as he failed to return to the lines. He remained unaccounted for, for some time. The army subsequently conducted a Court of Inquiry in the field on the 2nd of September 1917. They concluded that Ralph was killed in action on the 19th of July. Sadly, his family had to wait over a year to know what happened to their son. Ralph's name was inscribed on the wall at the VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles in France.