Reginald Thomas Freeburn
Serial No. 2652
Reginald Thomas Freeburn - Information
Reginald belonged to the Freeburn family, whom resided in Badgery’s Creek. Here, he was born and raised by Alice Jane and Thomas Freeburn. Reginald gained military experience serving in the Lancers, and found work as a general labourer. At the age of 21, Reg travelled to Sydney to fill an application form to join the AIF on the 27th of May 1916. It was granted and he joined the other recruits at the Royal Showground Camp the same day. Shortly joining him in Sydney, was another Freeburn, most likely a cousin from Luddenham, George. Reg and George trained at Dubbo and Bathurst Depots, where they were placed with the 6th Reinforcements, 54th Battalion as Privates. They departed Sydney Harbour on the 7th of October 1916 onboard the HMAT Ceramic.
The Ceramic sailed into Plymouth in late November. Reg and George were then sent to France just before Christmas, joining the 54th Battalion. However, George could not take the pressure and deserted the lines. Reg remained with the unit, as they were moved into Belgium for the upcoming offensive in the Flanders region. The 54th Battalion saw bloody action here in what was to be known as the Third Battle of Ypres. When the unit attacked Polygon Wood on the 26th of September, Reg was wounded. He received a bullet to his right side/chest and another one grazed his head. After initial treatment in France, he was evacuated to England in mid October to the War Hospital in Reading. When he was ambulatory, he enjoyed some much needed convalescence. Unfit for further active service, he was stationed to Weymouth Camp awaiting his return to Australia. Here, he was charged on Christmas Eve 1917 for interfering with Military Police in performance of their duties, and striking a Military Policeman. He was fined 7 days pay before boarding the ship for his journey home.