Serial No. N73270/60088
56th Battalion, Australian Army Medical Corps & Army Service Corps
Reginald Bonfield - Information
Reginald Bonfield was born on the 2nd of September 1899 in Narellan. When the war started, he was living with his family at 25 Mary St in Auburn and was working as a farrier, after completing a 5 year apprenticeship in Burwood. He then decided to enlist in Sydney on the 23rd of April 1917, claiming he was 21. He was only 17 years old. Reginald began his training at the Royal Showground Camp, and at Liverpool. It was soon uncovered that he was underage, and he was subsequently discharged from the military. He then decided to try again, and signed up in Sydney on the 20th of May 1918, aged 18. He was posted as a Private to the NSW Reinforcements, and sent abroad from Sydney on the SS Gaika on the 30th of July 1918.
The Gaika had a stop over in Capetown, where on the 4th of September 1918, Reginald was charged with being drunk whilst on duty. They then set off for London in mid October, marching into the 14th Training Battalion at Hurdcott. A day before the Armistice was announced, Reginald was transferred to the 56th Battalion. No longer needed to fight, he was transferred to the Army Medical Corps Details on the 20th of December. Although the guns were silent, thousands of troops were still suffering in hospitals throughout England. In March 1919, he was transferred to Army Service Corps details, performing duties at Sutton Veny Camp. On the 1st of August, Reginald commenced his voyage home.