Serial No. 15672
4th Divisional Ammunition Column
Henry Copley - Information
The Copley family had settled on a property in Bringelly. Henry was born in Cabramatta c1897 to James and Annie Copley. In Bringelly, Henry found work as a general labourer, before deciding to join the war effort just after he turned 18 years old. He signed up in Holsworthy on the 13th of August 1915. Completing training at Dubbo and Liverpool, he was allocated to the 4th Divisional Ammunition Column as a Gunner. He was then sent overseas onboard the HMAT Ceramic, departing Sydney on the 14th of April 1916.
Henry landed in Egypt, and was quickly shipped to Marseilles in early June for operations on the Western Front. By late July, he was taken on strength to the 4th Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC). Henry and his unit, made sure that the Divisions’ artillery units procured their necessary armaments. In the performance of these duties, he was appointed as a Driver on the 8th of September. Towards the end of the year, life on the Western Front became almost unbearable as the extreme cold and heavy rains resulted in the worst winter of the war. Consequently, Henry reported to hospital in early November with bronchitis. In late December, he was feeling better and rejoined his unit. However, continued illness stifled Henry’s service throughout 1917. In June, he reported back to hospital with tachycardia. No doubt being very close to the artillery bombardments caused heart palpitations. Then in August, he was receiving treatment for gonorrhoea. He returned to hospital twice more for venereal disease in October and in November. Henry remained with the 4th DAC until March 1919, when he was shipped to England. On the 1st of May, he was sent back to Australia onboard the China, returning to his family in Bringelly.