Albert Edward Bunker
Serial No. 822
Albert Edward Bunker - Information
Albert belonged to the Bunker family, whom had long ties to the Campbelltown, Appin and Narellan area. Albert’s parents, John Edward and Charlotte Bunker, married at St Mark’s in Appin in 1876. Albert was one of many children, born in Narellan on the 10th of October 1894. The family then settled down on John St in Camden, where Albert began working as a mechanic. When he was 19, he enlisted in the AIF in Liverpool on the 2nd of February 1915. During training, he was designated to the 17th Battalion as a Private, before departing Sydney on the HMAT Themistocles on the 12th of May 1915.
Albert landed in Egypt and was presently transported to the Gallipoli Peninsula, landing at Anzac Cove on the 10th of August. Upon arrival, Albert’s unit were thrust into action during the August Offensives at Hill 60, before taking up positions at Quinn’s Post. He was then wounded, and was evacuated from the beach to England on the 24th of October. On the 9th of November, he was admitted to the War Hospital in Woolwich. By late March, Albert had convalesced, and was sent to the Western Front in France. Stationed at Etaples, he was then brought before a General Court Martial on the 4th of May. He was charged with committing an offence against a local civilian whilst driving. He was found guilty and had to forfeit 28 days pay. By mid June, he left Base Details in Etaples to rejoin his unit. A month later, the 17th Battalion were moved into position during the Somme Offensive. In late July, they ran over the top towards the Germans at Pozières. Unfortunately, this was a costly introduction into operations on the Western Front, the Battalion was devastated. Albert survived the onslaught, and was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 21st of September in the field. He was then appointed Temporary Corporal on the 13th of November. Albert and his unit then bunkered down for the winter, which proved to be the coldest and wettest of the war years. In early 1917, the Germans began withdrawing to a series of defence fortifications known as the Hindenburg Line. The Anzacs were then ordered to chase them, before attacking the new line at Bullecourt. Managing to gain some enemy trenches, they were fiercely counter-attacked. When the Germans assaulted on the 15th of April, Albert got shot in his left side and left arm. He was rushed to Rouen on the 21st, and later evacuated to Lewisham Military Hospital in England. His wounds were severe, and it took some months for him to recover. On the 20th of October, he left Southampton to return to the trenches in France. Albert returned to his unit and was again appointed Corporal on the 12th of December. Albert continued to fight with his unit, and was proving to be a very capable soldier during the German March Offensive. As a result, on the 27th of July 1918, he was sent to England to a Training Brigade, being placed on a Supremacy List. He returned to France in early August and continued to fight with his unit until the Armistice was announced. Due to his long service, Albert commenced his voyage home on the 14th of December 1918.
When Albert returned home, he met and married his sweetheart Neita Doreen in 1920. He returned to his civilian life, he passed away in Newcastle on the 10th of January 1978.