Andrew Keith McCrindle (1895-1948)
World War One Veterans Item Type Metadata
Next of Kin
20 Illawarra Road,
Address at time of Enlistment
Place of Burial
No.35033 Driver Andrew Keith McCrindle
Andrew Keith McCrindle was born at Hawthorn in Victoria in 1895 to Andrew McCrindle and Elizabeth Morell Holmes. They had married in Victoria during in 1880, and had three children:
- Jessie Gladstone McCrindle - born 1884 at Prahran, died at Hawthorn 1891 (6468/1891)
- Hazel Morell McCrindle - born 1887 at Prahran (5823/1887)
- Andrew Keith McCrindle - born 1895 at Hawthorn (29902/1895)
Keith McCrindle attended school at the Ballarat Agricultural High School and worked as a farm labourer before moving to the Metropolitan Farm at Werribee.
At a farewell function held in the Presbyterian Church, Werribee, on 16 January 1917, newly appointed Gunner McCrindle was presented with a small gift in recognition of his services over the previous two years, as the church organist.
Werribee Shire Banner, 11 January 1917, p.2.
He had finally been accepted into the A.I.F., after being rejected several times before, due to his slight deafness.
Keith McCrindle swore his oath at Melbourne on 26 October 1916 and went to camp for his initial training. Once completed he went to the Field Artillery (F.A.) Reinforcements at Maribyrnong between 9 November 1916 and 14 May 1917. At that time he was appointed as a Gunner with the 27th Reinforcements.
Gunner Keith McCrindle embarked from Melbourne on 9 November 1917 per HMAS Port of Sydney A15 as a member of the 27th Reinforcements for the F.A.B. (Field Artillery Brigade)
They disembarked at Suez on 12 December 1917, and one week later, on 18 December 1917, he embarked at Alexandria. His ship formed part of a convoy bound for England, and they followed the usual route, north west across the Mediterranean, and pausing at the Port of Taranto in southern Italy on 22 December 1917.
[Other Werribee boys also travelled from Alexandria to England in the same convoy. They were Gunner Norman Lay, who was a reinforcement for the Field Artillery Brigade and Gunner Albert Ryan].
Gunner McCrindle disembarked at Southampton from A15 Port of Sydney on 4 January 1918, and marched in to the Reserve Brigade Australian Artillery (R.B.A.A.) at Heytesbury on the Salisbury Plain. After four months of training he marched out from Heytesbury, and proceeded overseas to France.
On 17 April 1918, Gunner McCrindle marched in to the Australian General Base Depot (A.G.B.D.) at Rouelles in France, and three days later he marched out from Rouelles to the 3rd Division Artillery.
On week later, on 28 April 1918, Gunner McCrindle was transferred to 4th F.A.B., 10th Battery (4th Australian Field Artillery Brigade) near Merris. He remained with this unit for the remainder of the war.[Unfortunately there aren't many unit histories of the artillery, and Charles Bean doesn't mention the artillery much in his official histories of the Great War.]
On 1 June 1918, the 4th A.F.A. Brigade were at St Gratien, where they were part of “a very heavy gas shell bombardment by 7.7cm and 10.5cm guns firing Yellow Cross *, Phosgene, Green Cross and Lachrymatory (Tear Gas) shells; Yellow Cross predominating,” **
Then on 3 June 1918, the enemy positions in the valley east of Hamel were to be subjected to a gas shell bombardment by Australian Corps Heavy and Field Artillery, but it was cancelled owing to unfavourable weather conditions.
After a long spell in the line, the 2nd Australian Division Artillery was relieved by units of the 4th and 5th Australian Division Artillery on 15 July 1918. The 2nd Aust Div Arty then proceeded to the rest area at Renacourt, and their Head Quarters relocated to Glisy.
In the secong half of July 1918, Andrew's unit was involved in heavy shelling around Villers Bretonneux. Between the 26 July and 16 August 1918, Gunner McCrindle was detached for duty with the 20th Coy A.A.S.C. (Australian Army Service Corps) for training.
After he returned in mid-August 1918, his unit participated in further heavy shelling around Villers Bretonneux, when they provided creeping barrages to allow the Australian Infantry to advance against the enemy lines.
On 4 September 1918, Gunner McCrindle was appointed as a Driver with 4th F.A.B., 10th Battery. This would have been dangerous work as it involved moving the high explosive shells forward, to support the big guns.
The war ended on 11 November 1918 when the Armistice was signed.
After the fighting had ceased, Driver McCrindle went to hospital sick, after a fall. On 24 November 1918, he was treated by the 58th Casualty Clearing Station (C.C.S.) suffering with Haematuria. ***
On week later, on 8 December 1918, he was transferred to the 5th General Hospital at Rouen, who later transferred him back to England for further treatment. He left France on 17 December 1918 and on the following day, he was admitted to the City of Midlands War Hospital at Napsbury, suffering with severe Haematuria.
After a month of treatment, he was admitted to the 3rd Australian Axillary Hospital (A.A.H.) at Dartford on 14 January 1919, to convalesce. Two week later, on 4 February 1919, he marched in to the No 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, and waited for a passage home.
He secured a berth on H.T. Shropshire, and embarked at Liverpool on 1 April 1919. After stops at Capetown and Adelaide, he disembarked at Melbourne on 16 May 1919, and was discharged from the A.I.F.’s 3rd Military District on 13 October 1919.
After returning from the war, Andrew Keith McCrindle first appeared on the Electoral Roll as 'Care of Mr McLean', at the Metropolitan Farm at Werribee.
At a Welcome Home Celebration, held in the Werribee Mechanics’ Hall on 25 June 1919, many local boys were presented with Werribee Gold Medals. Among then was "Driver A.K. McCrindle, 10th Battalion, A.F.F., A.I.F., served in France."
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 June 1919, p.3.
In October 1919, the Metropolitan Farm Welcome Home Society held a grand Ball in honour of nine soldiers who had recently returned from the front. A total of 25 men had volunteered from the Farm, and only 20 had returned. Those honoured on this occasion were: Private D McMillan, Private Brown [or Browne], Private McCrindle, Private C W Jones, Private [?] Carter, Private B Marshall, Private F Murphey, Private M Hallinan and Private E J West. Special mention was also made of the Heroes who failed to return – No.2649 Private Charles Guest, No.2741 Private John Ross, No.5671 Private Harry Delaney, No.1777 Private Edward Delaney and No.5749 Corporal Andrew Rowan.
Werribee Shire Banner, 9 October 1919, p.2.
Andrew McCrindle made an application under the Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act for 50 acres of farmland at Werribee, on 15 August 1919. On his application he stated that he had been discharged from the A.I.F. as medically unfit, because of a contusion to his left kidney, as a result of a fall. He had since recovered.
On his application he stated that he intended to grow lucerne, and to operate a dairy. He listed his previous experience as one year on a private farm; a two year course at the Ballarat Agricultural High School; and one years working at the Metropolitan Farm at Werribee. In addition, he had £55 cash and a promised loan of £250 from his father.
His application was approved on 1 September 1919, subject to the following conditions:
- The first three years be free of payment, and
- a four roomed house be erected on the allotment. He received 53 acres comprising Allotments 19 and 19A, Section G, in the Parish of Deutgam, at a cost of £798/3/9. These block are on the south side of Ferrants Road in Werribee South, off Diggers Road.
Andrew Keith McCrindle married Ivy Irene Clotilde in Victoria ## in 1920, and they set up a home in Werribee South.
In May 1928, a group of Werribee South residents decided to form a library, to operate out of the Digger’s Road Hall. Subscriptions were to be 10 shillings per year. Mr J.L. Robinson was elected as president, and Mr K McCrindle as vice-president. Werribee Shire Banner, 17 May 1928, p.7.
At an Ordinary Meeting of the Werribee Shire Council on 11 April 1929, the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission sought assistance for the costs of forming and re-forming roads on the Werribee Estate. One section was 16 chains on McCrindle’s Road [today - Farrants Road].
Werribee Shire Banner, 18 April 1929, p.3.
Mrs McCrindle was the first vice-president of the Diggers’ Road School Mothers Club.
Werribee Shire Banner, 28 May 1931, p.3.
Mrs McCrindle was a member of the Werribee South United Country Party (Women’s Section) (W.S.U.C.P.). They held quarterly meetings to discuss political topics, and to socialise.
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 November 1931, p.2.
The McCrindle's decided to leave the Werribee district in 1934. They held a clearing sale of dairy cows and farming equipment at their property off Diggers' Road in Werribee South on 21 June 1934. A full list of what was on offer was published in the Werribee Shire Banner, 14 June 1934, p.3.
Mr and Mrs K A McCrindle were farewelled from the Werribee district at a function held at St Thomas' Presbyterian Church on 27 June 1934. Of special mention was Mr McCrindle's service as the church organist, the Sunday School Superintendent, and member of the church Board of Management. Mrs McCrindle was mentioned as a valued member of the church choir.
Werribee Shire Banner, 12 July 1934, p.2.
The leasehold on the farm (at allotment 19 and 19A in the Parish of Deutgam) was transferred to Luigi Scacciante of Werribee South on 12 September 1941.
Keith McCrindle died at his home at Sandringham in 1948, and was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: "McCRINDLE, K."
The name "McCrindle, A.K. from the Metro Farm" first appeared in the Roll of Honor, Werribee Shire Banner, 2 March 1916, p.1.
Death Notice for Andrew Keith McCrindle printed in The Age, 23 January 1948, p.4. Funeral will leave his residence at 10 Bath St Sandringham today for the Springvale Crematorium.
Death Notices for Andrew Keith McCrindle were printed in The Argus, 23 January 1948, p.2.
"On the 21st January 1948. Son of the late Andrew and Elizabeth McCrindle, Loved brother of Hazel. Beloved husband of Irene. Loved father of Ronald and Desmond."
- The main gas used was "Yellow Cross”, and it was delivered via shrapnel shells. Yellow Cross shells contained the feared mustard gas. Blue crosses contained arsenic, white crosses were phosgene, and green crosses were chlorine gas. The last fifty miles by Adam Wakeling, page 6. Penguin/Viking.
- Chlorine was followed by phosgene gas. It gave off an odour of mouldy hay, and the symptoms took several hours before they manifested themselves. 85,000 people were suffocated by phosgene in the Great War. Mustard gas was introduced in 1917, and caused chemical burns whether it was inhaled or not. It caused yellow blisters on the skin, blindness and loss of breath. The last fifty miles by Adam Wakeling, page 128. Penguin/Viking.
** 2nd Australian Divisional Artillery War Diary for June 1918.
*** Hematuria is the medical term for red blood cells in the urine.
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