Otho Roy Coleman
Serial No. 15309
6th Field Company Engineers
Otho Roy Coleman - Information
Otho was a son of Otho Vigers and Louisa Ellen Coleman. While Otho worked as a storekeeper, the Colemans resided on Argyle St in Camden. They were blessed with many children, including Otho, known as Roy, who was born in Camden on the 27th of November 1892. Like his siblings, Roy grew up in the area, and served 2½ years in the Senior Cadets. When he was older, he relocated to 83 Park Rd in Auburn, where he continued to work as a carpenter. His younger brother, Leslie, would often stay with him while working as a traveller. Both Roy and Leslie decided to join the war effort and serve overseas. They enlisted within days of each other, at the Royal Showground Camp in Sydney. Roy signed up on the 28th of February 1916, aged 24. He soon joined his brother as a Sapper at the 2nd M & D Depot. The people of Camden wanted to demonstrate their appreciation, as Roy and Leslie were given a farewell social at Foresters’ Hall in May. However, the brothers soon departed each other’s company, as Leslie shipped out in September and Roy became part of the Field Company Engineers. He was then sent overseas, departing Sydney Harbour on the HMAT Ceramic on the 7th of October 1916.
Roy arrived in Plymouth on the 21st of November, and was marched out to No. 3 Camp in Parkhouse, where he reunited with his younger brother. Roy was then moved to Details Camp at Perham Downs, before going to France via Folkestone in mid March. Here, he was taken on strength to the 6th Field Company Engineers at the Australian General Base Depot in Etaples. Engineers worked in and out of the lines. Using his carpentry skills, Roy helped build billets, dugouts, duckboards etc. On the 5th of July, he was charged with failing to cover his steel helmet with Hessian after been duly warned to do so. He was fined 1 days pay as a result. Like his brother, Roy was wounded during the Third Battle of Ypres. On the 4th of October 1917, he received nasty gun shot wounds to his right forearm and thigh. Roy was rushed to hospital in Camiers, and was subsequently evacuated to England to Norwich Hospital. Roy’s wounds were severe; the bullet that hit his forearm fractured the radius. By late December, he was moved to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital. His wound healed, however, there was extensive tissue damage to the exterior muscles. Roy was considered unfit for further military service, and was sent back to Australia, sailing onboard the Hospital Ship Balmoral Castle on the 1st of February 1918. He was medically discharged and returned to his previous life. Unfortunately, Roy’s work as a carpenter would have been hindered by his war injury. His and other’s commitment to the war effort were highlighted at a welcome home party at Foresters’ Hall in May. Congratulated on a safe return, Roy would have been overwhelmed by the community’s hospitality.