No. 874 Erik Engbrigtsen
Erik was born in 1893 in Melbourne to Hans Christian Engbrigtsen (who was born in Norway) and Selina Maud Thomas. His parents had married in Melbourne in 1892. There is no record of any other siblings.
His parents, left the district for Spotteswood as reported in the Werribee Shire Banner, 20 July 1916. p.2.
Erik enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 5 February 1916 as a Private, and was sent to Ballarat, for training. On completion, he was appointed to "C" Company of the 39th Battalion.
Erik embarked from Melbourne on 27 May 1916 per HMAT Ascanius A11 with the 39th Infantry Battalion, for Devonport in England, and arrived on 18 July 1916. The ship stopped en-route for two days in Cape Town.
After arriving at Devonport on Plymouth Sound, the Battalion moved to Lark Hill by train, and they were all given four days leave. The Battalion was then given training in bayonet fighting, and a trench mortar battery was formed.
His embarkation details (from Melbourne) were recorded as "No 874, Private, Engbrigtsen Erik, age 23, Mechanical draftsman, Single, from Metropolitan Farm in Victoria, Father – Hans Christian Engbrigtsen of Metro Farm, Presbyterian, enlisted on 05 Feb 1916".
On 20 August 1916, Erik was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.
Erik sailed to France from Southampton on 23 November 1916, and the Battalion arrived at Havre on the following day. From there they went by train to Bailleul where their billets had been arranged. On 1 July 1917, Erik was promoted to the rank of Corporal.
After a term at the front, he was granted three weeks leave in England. On 18 September 1918, Erik was promoted to the rank of Lance Sergeant and he retained that rank until he was discharged.
Erik was admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbeville France on 31 October 1918 suffering with Influenza. He was then transferred to England, and admitted to No 1 Military Hospital at Canterbury on 11 November 1918. His father was advised on 25 November 1918, that his son had been admitted to Hospital, at Canterbury in England, suffering from severe bronchopneumonia.
After recovering, he was granted four weeks leave, and when it concluded he was admitted to the No.1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny. It was there that the decision was made that he would return to Australia.
Erik embarked from England per Karmala on 2 January 1919, bound for Australia. After arriving in Melbourne on 15 February 1919, his illness was diagnosed as Influenza.
Erik was discharged from 3 M.D. on 25 March 1919 as Medically Unfit.
He and three other soldiers were welcomed back to Werribee by the local Lodge of Oddfellows, at a function held on 12 April 1919. This was reported in The Werribee Shire Banner, 17 April 1919, p.2.
A Shire of Werribee Gold Medal was presented to him and eleven other soldiers on 16 April 1919 as reported in The Werribee Shire Banner, 24 April 1919, p.2.
The family then appears to have left the district, and their names don’t appear in any local newspapers from then on.
Erik and his parents also do not appear on any Electoral Roll after World War One.
Erik Engbrigtsen died at Carnegie on 30 July 1968, aged 75 years, and is buried in the Springvale Cemetery. The plaque on his grave has the Masonic emblem and the A.I.F. emblem.
Medals & Entitlements:
- British War Medal issued
- Victory Medal issued
His name first appeared in The Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor on 8 November 1917.
His name appeared in a list of Victorian Casualties which was published in The Argus, 7 December 1918, p.22.
Hans Engbrigtsen (his father) died at his residence in Murrumbeena on 4 April 1939. (The Argus, 8 April 1939, p.10). Erik and his mother were both still alive.
Selina Engbrigtsen (his mother) died at her residence in Murrumbeena on 3 December 1948. (The Argus, 4 December 1948, p.10). Eric was still alive.
Spelling of the surname has many variations.
- Engebrigtsen on his birth registration.
- Engbrigtsen in the 1914 Electoral Roll for Newport.
- Engbrigtsen on his A.I.F. Attestation Papers.
- Engbrigtsen at the end of WW1 (WW1 Nominal Roll “874, L/Sgt ENGBRIGTSEN Erik, 39th Battalion, 5.2.16., R.T.A. 2.1.19.)
- "Engebrigtsen, E" is the name entered on the Werribee Shire Oak Honour Board.
- Engebrigtsen – Surname when both of his parents died.
- There is no record of him marrying after the war.
- There are no Engbrigtsen’s buried in the Werribee Cemetery.
CD Death Index Victoria 1921 – 1985
CD Federation Index Victoria 1889 - 1901
A photo of the plaque on his grave is at http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/gallery/10234