Walter Sidney Burnett
Serial No. 1842
31st Battalion & 46th Battalion
Walter Sidney Burnett - Information
As the boys were clinging precariously to the cliffs and ridges at Gallipoli, Walter was living in Victoria. He was born and raised in Picton, his family living on Menangle Rd. In Victoria, Walter met and married his sweetheart, Mary. They moved to a residence at 98 Carlton St, while Walter worked as a wood machinist. When he was 29, he joined the colours in Melbourne on the 17th of July 1915. At Camp, he was posted to the 2nd Reinforcements, 31st Battalion as a Private. He was then sent overseas on the 3rd of January 1916, departing Brisbane on the HMAT Kyarra.
The Kyarra sailed to Egypt, where he was taken on strength to the 46th Battalion in early March at Tel-el-Kebir. In June, he and his new unit were shipped to the Western Front in France. Shortly after arriving, the 46th Battalion, along with the I ANZAC Corps, participated in the bloody Battle of Pozières during the Somme Offensive. The battle devastated the Divisions within a matter of weeks. He was then promoted to Corporal on the 10th of October to fill the gaps. Walter and his unit hunkered down for the winter. Early in 1917, the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line, a well protected trench system. The Allies were ordered to chase them, resulting in much fierce fighting. The 46th Battalion attacked the village of Bullecourt on the 11th of April. Here, Walter was hit in the chest and left elbow. He was treated at Rouen, before being invalided to England on the 17th, to the Reading War Hospital. It took some time for his wounds to heal, before going to the Training Camp in Deverill. In February 1918, Walter returned to France, in time for the launch the German Spring Offensive. They were successful, and broke through the lines the Allies no match for the specially trained storm troops. The 46th Battalion hit them head on at Dernancourt, checking their advance. Walter was then wounded in action a second time on the 3rd of May, caught in a gas attack. He was treated in Rouen, and returned to England at the end of the month. He was admitted to hospital in Aldershot, and by June, was recuperating at the 1st Auxiliary Hospital. He returned to duty training at Sutton Veny Camp in October, but before long the war was over. He remained in England until he was sent back to Australia on the 8th of January 1919. He reunited with Mary in Victoria.