Alfred Charles Meredith
Serial No. 2768
Alfred Charles Meredith - Information
Alfred Charles Meredith was a member of a large Campbelltown family. Both his parents, Alfred Ernest and Alice Cecilia were born in Campbelltown and married in Camden in 1898. Alfred Ernest and Alice quickly began their family, starting with Alfred Charles who was born in Campbelltown in 1899. Three more children were added to the family, Elizabeth, Florence and Laurel before Alice passed away in 1906. Alfred was very young when he lost his mother, however, he helped his father the best he could with his siblings. Serving in the Senior Cadets, Alfred also supported the family working as a labourer. Alfred’s father then got remarried to Florence Louise Wilson in Sydney on the 14th of April 1914 and began their new life on Queen St in Campbelltown. Alfred found a loving mother figure and was happy to welcome a new step-brother, Richard. The continuation of the war and its tremendous cost had a profound impact on Alfred. He joined the AIF right in Campbelltown on the 6th of June 1916, lying about his age, as he was only 17. He was stationed to C Company Depot Battalion at Goulburn, and by September, to the 6th Reinforcements, 55th Battalion. He was shipped abroad on the HMAT Ceramic, departing Sydney on the 7th of October 1916.
Alfred arrived in Plymouth on the 21st of November, and was marched out to the 14th Training Battalion at Hurdcott. After training, Alfred left Southampton for the Western Front in mid June 1917. Stationed to the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Havre, he soon fell ill. He was admitted to the 39th General Hospital from 26th of June until 18th of August. He returned to duty as the 55th Battalion was in combat during the Third Battle of Ypres. Unfortunately, he was wounded in action on the 26th of September at Polygon Wood, receiving a nasty gun shot wound to the chest. He was taken to the 10th Casualty Clearing Station and was subsequently evacuated to England to the Norfolk War Hospital in Norwich. The chest wound was rather serious. After initially recovering, he was then sent home in April 1918.
When Alfred reached Australia, he was reunited with his family, being able to meet his new step-brother. In appreciation of his service and wounding, the people of Campbelltown gave Alfred a big welcome home celebration on the morning of Sunday the 9th of June 1918. He arrived at Campbelltown Train Station to coloured flags and bunting decorating Railway St, while the locals cheered, clapped and threw flowers. Head of the crowd was the Mayor, who thanked him for his war service and drove him home in his car. Alfred resumed his previous civilian life, eventually marrying Edna Moon in Petersham in 1923. Alfred passed away in Campbelltown on the 3rd of March 1985.