Albert Cornwell Sippel
Serial No. 4772
Albert Cornwell Sippel - Information
When Albert decided to enlist in the AIF, he was living with his grandmother and uncle at Wandon on Rocky Point Rd in Kogarah. His parents had previously lived in the Campbelltown area, where his little brother, Leslie, was born. Sadly, his parents passed away, thus, Albert and his siblings were taken in by family at Kogarah. Here, they attended school, and when Albert was older, he joined the Cadets and the Commonwealth Militia. He eventually found work as a railway employee. When he was 21, he enlisted for war service on the 13th of January 1916 in Casula. Becoming a Private with the 12th Reinforcements, 20th Battalion, he was then shipped out from Sydney on the 13th of April 1916 onboard the HMAT Ceramic.
Albert disembarked in England, and was marched out to the 5th Training Battalion. In early September, he left England for the 2nd Australian Division Base Depot in Etaples in France. He then joined the 20th Battalion in the lines. At the time, a miserable winter was beginning to turn the trenches into pools of mud and snow. Consequently, Albert reported to a Field Ambulance in mid November with blistered feet from frostbite. He was rushed to the 36th Casualty Clearing Station and then the 2nd Convalescence Depot in Rouen. In January 1917, Albert rejoined his unit. The following month, the Germans began withdrawing to the Hindenburg Line, a newly constructed defence system. To buy some time and keep the Allies guessing, the Germans engaged them in small incursions, as they headed towards Bapaume. British C-I-C General Haig cautiously ordered an advance on the abandoned German lines. Albert was then killed in action at Bapaume on the 9th of March 1917. Sadly, in the chaos, his gravesite was lost. His name can be found on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France.