No. 3508 Air Mechanic David Little
David Little was born in 1893, at Bacchus Marsh, to Mr David Armstrong Little and Annie Mary Hanigan. They had married in Victoria in 1886, and had seven children:
- Rose Helen Little - born 1888, Bacchus Marsh
- Thomas "Tom" John Little - born 1889, Reg Bacchus Marsh
- Gerald Thompson Little - born 1890, Reg Bacchus Marsh, (AIF No.2303)
- Jean Dorothea Little - born 1891, Reg Bacchus Marsh
- Leopold (Leo) Little - born 1892, Reg Bacchus Marsh, (AIF No317)
- David Little - born 1893, Reg Bacchus Marsh, (AIF No.3508)
- John Phil (Jack) Little - born 1894, Reg Bacchus Marsh
After his parents married, his father held several prominent positions in local government, in the west of Melbourne.
In 1885, David’s father was the rate collector for the Shire of Romsey, and in 1886 he took the same position with the Shire of Bacchus Marsh. He then became the hydraulic engineer to the Bacchus Marsh Water Trust and the Secretary/Engineer for the Melton Shire. After 27 years with the Bacchus March Shire Council, he moved to Werribee in 1913, and took over the position of secretary. He retained that post until his death in 1926. In Werribee, the family home was at 56-58 Wattle Avenue, and it is now included on the Wyndham Heritage Overlay.
Heritage of the City of Wyndham, Vol. 2, Context Pty Ltd, 1997, p.348.
David Little and his four brothers were all borders at the St Patrick’s College in Ballarat, Victoria. According to the College website, David Little passed his Matriculation in Physics, Elementary Mechanics, Trigonometry, Geometry, French Language and French Literature. He was also the captain of the football team.
The Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), 8 November 1917, p.35 reported on a lecture presented by David Little (of the Electrical Engineers Department), in which he demonstrated interesting experiments with electricity. The Chairman of the meeting then announced David’s intentions to enlist in the A.I.F.
Prior to enlisting, David Little was working as an Assistant Electrical Engineer, to the District Engineer at Armidale in N.S.W. and resided in Sydney, at 18 Campbell Street, Milson’s Point.
In 1918, he was attached to the State School of Aviation * at Richmond, New South Wales, and held a Pilot’s Certificate. He wrote a short account of his personal experiences of flight.
The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, 10 May 1918, p.2.
Just four months before the end of the Great War, David Little took his Oath at Sydney on 8 July 1918. He gave his residential address as 18 Campbell Street, Milson’s Point, which was possibly that of his brother-in-law.
After being accepted into the A.I.F., he was sent as a Private to the military camp at Liverpool (outer Sydney) and the Composite Battalion Flying Corps. On 22 July 1918, he applied to transfer to the Australian Flying Corp., and on 31 July 1918 he was appointed as a 3rd Class Air Mechanic with the Australian Flying Corps at the Laverton Base.
David was granted a final leave between 26 and 30 September 1918, before he embarked at Melbourne on 5 October 1918, per S.S. Zealandic, with the 22nd Reinforcements of the Australian Flying Corps.
While in transit to England, the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, and the war was over. On arrival in England, David Little marched-in to the Australian Flying Corps Depot (Details) at Wendover, on 5 December 1918.
On 9 January 1919, he marched out to the 1st Wing ** Australian Flying Corps at Tetbury, and on the same day was sent to No 2 Two Squadron *** at Minchinhampton. One month later, on 10 February 1919, David Little was reclassified as a 2nd Class Air Mechanic - Electrical.
As part of the re-settlement training program for soldiers waiting to return to Australia, David Little was posted to Room 45 of the A.I.F. Headquarters in London, on 16 March 1919. From there, he was granted leave to attend Telephonist training at the General Post Office (G.P.O) in London, and on completion, to report to Sutton Veny Camp.
After arriving back at Sutton Veny in June 1919, he then faced a three month wait for a passage home.
David Little embarked from the port of Devonport on 22 September 1919, per Port Sydney, and was appointed as a Temporary Corporal (unpaid) for the duration of the voyage home. He disembarked at Melbourne on 12 November 1919, and was discharged as a Private, by the 3rd Military District at Melbourne on 27 November 1919.
On returning to civilian employment, David Little moved back to Sydney, and worked as a Telephone Engineer. In August 1922, he travelled to America and Canada, for an unknown period of time. His entry into the United States of America documents are on ancestry.com
In 1929, David Little married Ada Adelene Highfield at Waverley in New South Wales, and moved back to Armidale. The couple remained there until 1936 when they moved to North Bondi for the next seven years.
Between 1943 and 1949 the couple lived at Bimlow, Burragorang in the Picton district.
Then came a tragic event in the couple’s lives. David Little was committed to stand trial for the murder of his wife Ada Adeline Little, on 18 August 1951.
Sydney Morning Herald, 7 September 1951, p.11. He admitted his actions to the police, Barrier Miner, 8 September 1951, p.8. and died on 29 November 1951 in the Parramatta Mental Hospital of natural causes.
Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 1951, p.1.
His brother, the Reverend Father Thomas Little from Melbourne placed a death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 1951, p.42 listing condolences from all members of the family.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
His name appears on the Werribee Shire Roll of Honour Board as "Little, D. B." [There is no indication as to what the initial "B" was for]
His name, Little, D.B., appeared in the Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor between 6 December 1917 and March 1919.
David Little has a tree planted in his name in the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour:
* State School of Aviation at Richmond, NSW. This opened on the 12th August 1916. On successfully completing the course, students had to undertake to immediately enlist in the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Forces.
The Sun (Sydney), 23 July 1916, p.12.
The New South Wales School of Aviation was under the Technical Education Branch of the NSW Department of Education.
The World’s News (Sydney), 13 October 1917, p.20. Its syllabus and exams were set by the Royal British Aero Club, and the Australian Aero Club.
The Argus, 20 December 1916, p.10.
** 1st Training Wing A.F.C. at Tetbury, England. Comprised of Number 5 & 6 Training Squadrons at Gloucestershire, Number 7 & 8 Training Squadrons at Minchinhampton, and the Headquarters at Tetbury. http://www.warbirdsonline.com.au/2015/02/09/ww1-afc-aircraft-bases/
*** "On the 9th July 1918, approval was given for the formation of 2 Two Squadron Stations, which will be called No.1 Two Squadron Station, Australian Flying Corps, and No.2 Two Squadron Station, Australian Flying Corps, with establishment as laid down by Royal Air Force for such units." – War Diary of 5th Training Squadron, July 1918.
From 19 July 1918, Minchinhampton Station was known as No.1 Two Squadron Station.
Heritage of the City of Wyndham, Vol. 2, Context Pty Ltd, dated 1997, page 348.
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