No.24633 Private Albert Henry Morris
Albert Henry Morris was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne in 1865 to Hymen Morris and Elizabeth Webb Bennett. His parents had married in 1858, and his father (Hymen) died in 1872, at the age of 57 years.
Albert had two siblings:
- Arthur William Morris - born 1859 at Melbourne, Victoria
- Frederick Trapnell Morris - born 1861 at Collingwood, Victoria
On 25 June 1897, Albert Henry Morris (then aged about 32 years) and George Stevens appeared before the Chief Justice, on a charge of conspiracy to defraud. They had been arrested one month earlier, and had used “the old story of the rich Ceylon uncle... making a benevolent bequest”, and defrauded their intended victim of £16. Both men were found guilty by a jury, and sentenced to 18 months’ hard labour.
The Argus, 26 June 1897, p.11
In July 1898, No.27931, Albert Henry Morris was discharged from Pentridge Prison. The Victoria Police Gazette reported that he had been tried at the Supreme Court Melbourne on 15 June 1897 for conspiracy, and had been sentenced to 18 months. He was a native of Victoria, and his occupation was “Ships Steward”. Born in 1867, he was 5ft 2-3 tall. Sallow complexion, dark hair, brown eyes, scar on back of neck, mole on right side of mouth.
Victoria Police Gazette, 1898 (ancestry.com)
In 1903, a warrant of commitment was issued by the Essendon Branch of the Victoria Police against Albert Henry Morris for seven days imprisonment, in default of a 20 shilling fine for insulting behaviour. He was described as about 37 years of age, 5 ft 3 or 4 tall, sallow complexion, dark hair.
Victoria Police Gazette, 27 August 1903, p.336. (ancestry.com)
This discription closely matches his description in 1915, on his A.I.F. Attestation papers.
The Victorian Electoral Rolls for 1903 recorded Albert Henry Morris living at Napier St, Essendon, and he was then employed as a Commission Agent.
In 1904, a Warrant of Commitment was issued by the Melbourne branch of the Victoria Police, against Albert Henry Morris (a.k.a Darkey Morris) for 12 hours imprisonment, in default of payment of a 5 shillings fine, for making a violent outcry in Swanston Street Melbourne. He was described as a fish hawker, 38 to 40 years of age, 5ft 8 tall, medium build, dark complexion.
Victoria Police Gazette, 7 January 1904, p.5 (ancestry.com)
Between 1908 and 1909, Albert Henry Morris resided at 5 Parker St Footscray, and was a Commission Agent. Also at the same address was Isabella Morris, H.D. [On his A.I.F. Attestation papers, Albert nominated Isabella Morris (nee White) as his wife, but records of their marriage have not been able to be located.]
In 1910, the couple had their first and only child, a son:
- Ronald Neil Clifford Morris - born at Clifton Hill in Melbourne
After 1914, Albert and Isabella Morris relocated to 38 Wilson Street, Yarraville, and he then worked as a painter. Isabella Morris was recorded on the Electoral Roll as home duties.
At the age of 44 years, Albert Henry Morris swore his oath to serve in the Australian Infantry Forces (A.I.F.) at Melbourne on 9 December 1915. In answer to Question 9 “Have you ever been convicted by a Civil Power?” he wrote “No”.
After undergoing initial training at the 22nd Depot Battalion at Royal Park (between 31 December 915 and 7 January 1916), he was transferred to the Field Artillery Battery Reinforcements at the Maribyrnong Camp, where he was appointed as a Gunner to the 3rd Divisional Ammunition Column (D.A.C.), No.1. Section.
Six months later he embarked at Melbourne per A37 Barambah on 27 June 1916, and sailed for England. He disembarked at Plymouth two months later, on 25 August 1916 and went to a training camp in Southern England.
On 28 October 1916, Private Albert Morris was appointed as a Driver.
One month later, on 24 November 1916, Driver Albert Morris proceeded overseas to France with the 3rd Australian Divisional Ammunition Column (3rd D.A.C.) Each Australian Division had their own Ammunition Column, and it was their duty to keep the troops at the front supplied with arms and ammunition.
After just one month at the front, Albert Morris was admitted to the local hospital, on the 26 December 1916, suffering with a severe stricture of the urethra, which may cause decreased urine output.
In need of more specialised care, he embarked at the Port of Havre per hospital ship Carisbrook Castlefor England on 15 January 1917. On arrival he was admitted to the 1st Eastern General Hospital.
One month later, on 16 February 1917, he was discharged from hospital, and he marched in to the No.2 Australian Commonwealth Depot (3rrd D.A. Details) at Weymouth, from the 1st Eastern General Hospital.
He was not medically fit enough to return to France, and it was decided that he should return to Australia “For a Change”. On 6 April 1917 he marched out to Devonport for embarkation on H.S. Themistocles and return to Australia.
Once back in Melbourne, he was discharged from the 3rd Military District on 9 August 1917, and he rejoined his family who were now living at 38 Wilson Street, Yarraville.
Albert was granted a pension of 15 shillings and 6 pence per fortnight; his wife Isabella received a pension of 7 shillings and 9 pence per fortnight; and their son, Ronald Morris (now aged 7 years) was granted a pension of 5 shillings per fortnight. The address on the pension form was 64 Williamstown Road, West Footscray.
Between 1917 and 1921, the Victorian Electoral Rolls show Albert and Isabella living at 38 Wilson Street, Yarraville.
On 13 April 1918, Albert Henry Morris (a returned soldier) was charged under the War Precautions Act of selling beer to troops in the Broadmeadows army camp. In his defence, he told the court that he was now a physical wreck.
Brunswick and Coburg Leader, 3 May 1918, p.1.
He also had a Sergeant Major accomplice working with him, and that man had since been dismissed.
The Age, 2 May 1918, p.10
In 1922, Isabella Morris was living alone at 64 Williamstown Rod, Footscray North, occupation Home Duties. Between 1924 and 1926 she had moved to 164 Williamstown Road, Footscray North, home duties and lived alone.
Between 1925 and 1926, Albert Henry Morris lived at alone at 38 Wilson Street, Yarraville, and worked as a painter. He then dropped off the Electoral roll.
By 1927 Isabella had moved again, this time to 66 Williamstown Road, Footscray North, where she lived with Harold Stanley Morris (a Traveller), and Emily Ada Morris, home duties.
Albert Henry Morris died at Heidelberg in 1928, aged 63. The records show that his parents were unknown.
Albert Henry Morris was interred at Fawkner Memorial Park (Church of England Section) on 7 February 1928.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: Morris A.H.
The name "Morris A.H. from West Footscray'” first appeared in the Roll of Honor, Werribee Shire Banner, 13 February 1919, p.3.
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