Walter Joseph Blattman
Serial No. 178
1st Field Company Engineers
Walter Joseph Blattman - Information
Walter was a grandson of German migrants Michael and Christiana Blattman, who came to the colony of NSW in 1853.26 Michael and Christiana settled in the Picton area, where they added to their family. Michael Jr. was born in Burragorang in 1858. He later married Mary Ann Shoobridge in Camden in 1887.28 They were concurrently blessed with Walter, arriving in Oakdale in 1887. Walter grew up in the area with his many siblings. When the war began, he was living with the family in Oakdale, working as a farrier (horse shoer). He had completed a 2 year apprenticeship with J. Williams in The Oaks. Sadly, he was a widower, and was taking care of his son. Shortly, after war was declared, Walter signed up in Sydney on the 20th of August 1914. Leaving his son with his parents, he commenced his training, assigned to the 1st Field Company Engineers as a Driver. He was shipped out for war service upon the HMAT Clan Maccorquodale.
Walter set down in Egypt awaiting further orders. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 24th of February 1915. In early March, he proceeded to the Gallipoli Peninsula via Lemnos Island. However, two and a half weeks later, he was admitted to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital with the measles. He enjoyed some convalescence before returning to duty at the Base Details in Zeitoun in June. The following month, he rejoined his unit. The horrible conditions on the Dardanelles continued to affect his health. In late October, he reported to hospital with gastritis. He then returned to his unit in Egypt in January 1916. In March, Walter got a surprise when his younger brother, John, was transferred to his unit. They were then transported to the frontline in France. On the 2nd of December, Walter was appointed Temporary 2nd Corporal, reverting to Corporal a week later. He was again promoted 2nd Corporal on the 5th of January 1918. On the 23rd, he was attached for duty with Transport School in Abbeville until the 19th of February. In mid October, he was transported to England for Special 1914 leave home, proceeding to Australia a week later. The war ended while he was at sea. Walter returned home to Oakdale, reuniting with his family and young son. Upon arrival, he was given a welcome home social. He was greeted by a cheering crowd, with girls waving flags and thanking him for his service. In 1925, Walter married Mary Robinson in Penrith.