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Walter Driffield McMinn


5th Battalion


Walter Driffield McMinn - Information

Walter was born in Minto on the 16th of July 1892. When the war began, he was living with his family on Burwood St in Hawthorn, Victoria. Growing up, he served with the Volunteer Cadets for 8 years. He then gained employment as a commercial traveller and at the age of 22, enlisted in the AIF. He joined up on the 12th of June 1915 in Melbourne. He commenced his training at the 19th Depot Battalion in Geelong, and in mid January 1916, was appointed 2nd Lieutenant. He then departed Melbourne with the 5th Battalion on the 1st of April 1916 onboard the HMAT Suffolk.

Walter disembarked at Suez, Egypt in mid May. The following month, he was transported to Plymouth, England. Here, he was assigned duty as adjutant from the 10th of July until the 23rd of November. In early December, he was shipped to the Western Front in France. He was mustered at Etaples Base, joining the 5th Battalion just before Christmas. At the time, the men in the trenches were enduring the worst winter of the war. He was then promoted to Lieutenant on the 23rd of February. Soon afterwards, he reported to the Field Ambulance with influenza, and was released from hospital in March. The 5th Battalion was then ordered to attack the Germans after they had withdrawn to the Hindenburg Line. During these assaults at Bullecourt, Walter was wounded in action on the 22nd of April, hit in the leg and chest. He was taken to the 9th General Hospital in Rouen a week later. On the 1st of May, he was evacuated to England to the 3rd London General Hospital. By October, he was enjoying some convalescence at Sutton Veny and Weymouth. In March 1918, Walter was granted lighter duties posted to Administration Headquarters in London. However, the effects of his gun shot wounds caused Walter’s health to decline. Consequently, he was sent back to Australia on the 5th of April 1918. He was suffering with cardiac insufficiency and jaundice. His appointment was terminated in August and he returned to his civilian life.