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Samuel Becke


Serial No:
Serial No. 1521

17th Battalion


Samuel Becke - Information

Samuel was born in Razorback, near Thirlmere, and eventually came to live in the Sydney Suburbs. He resided at 1 Glebe Lane, Glebe with his lovely wife and worked as a labourer. When he was 36, Samuel travelled to Liverpool to enlist in the AIF on the 10th of April 1915. The following month, he departed Sydney Harbour on the 12th of May 1915 on the HMAT Themistocles, as part of the 1st Reinforcements, 17th Battalion.

Disembarking in Egypt, he was subsequently shipped to the Gallipoli Peninsula. He joined his unit in the lines on the 13th of August. Fighting at Gallipoli was difficult. The poor terrain, unfathomable heat in summer and blizzard conditions during the winter was intolerable. As a result, Samuel reported sick to hospital on the 30th of November. The following month, he was evacuated to Egypt, to the 2nd Australian General Hospital. Pretty soon, the Gallipoli Campaign ceased and the troops were stationed back in Egypt. Samuel spent most of 1916 at a Training Base in Zeitoun. In August, he was transported to the Western Front in France. However, the stress of warfare, continued to impede his health, reporting to hospital. At this time, his wife, who had relocated to 17 Simmone St in Enmore, was receiving no letters from Samuel. All the mail was returned to her, citing ‘unable to trace.’ She waited anxiously for any news of her beloved husband. Meanwhile, Samuel was evacuated to England, admitted to Fargo Military Hospital with influenza. When he felt better, he was stationed to the 5th Training Battalion in Rollestone. However, chronic illness continued to plague his performance. In December at Weymouth Command Depot, he awaited his marching orders to return home. He was to receive a medical discharge for asthma and emphysema. He left Plymouth on the 13th of February 1917 and soon reunited with his worried wife back in Sydney.