No.4902 Alfred Poole MM
Alfred Poole was born in Binya, New South Wales in 1894 to parents, William Alfred Dudley Poole and Mary (nee Ruddle).
By the time Alfred enlisted on 4 January 1916, in Melbourne, both his parents had died and his next of kin was an older sister, Mrs Jane McMahon of Wales Street, West Footscray.
His enlistment papers describe Alfred as 21 years 6 months, 5 feet, 4 and ¾ inches in height with blue / grey eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. His religious denomination was Church of England.
Following basic training in Warrnambool, Alfred joined the 46th Battalion on 14th March 1916 and sailed aboard HMAT A68 Anchises to Tel El Kabir in Egypt.
In August of the same year, Alfred was wounded in action in France – suffering gunshot wounds to his head and back – and transferred to the Lord Derby War Hospital in Warrington, England for treatment.
In January 1917, he re-joined his unit in France. In May 1917, Alfred was charged with Desertion – having been missing from 10 April to 25 April. He was found not guilty on the charge of Desertion but guilty of being Absent Without Leave and sentenced to 4 months imprisonment.
In October 1917, Alfred re-joined his unit. On 6 April 1918, while still in France, he was wounded for the second time, suffering severe concussion – he was also suffering from conjunctivitis. Alfred was first transferred to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital and then the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford, England.
It was while convalescing that Alfred would have been made aware he had been awarded the prestigious, Military Medal for his devotion to duty.
The recommendation for the award, which was put forward on 11 April and passed on 18 April, reads: "For devotion to duty during an enemy attack on our lines near ALBERT on 3rd April 1918. During a heavy preliminary bombardment the telephone line was cut between company and Battalion Headquarters. Private Poole and another went out on three separate occasions while the barrage was at its highest and mended the wire so that important information could be sent to Battalion Headquarters."
This was signed by E.G. Sinclair Maulagan, Major-General Commanding 4th Australian division.
The awarding of the Military Medal was recorded in London Gazette on 16 July 1918, and then in
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 185 27 Nvomber 1918, p.2264.
Alfred returned to Australia on 24 August 1918.
Following his arrival he married Louisa Hawkey in 1919 in Victoria.
The 1919 Electoral Roll lists Alfred and Louisa living in Derrinallum with a younger brother, Frederick James, and working as a dairyman.
From 1928 until 1954, Electoral rolls give Alfred's address as Manifold Street, Camperdown and his occupation as a labourer.
Alfred Poole died on 18 November 1955 in Camperdown.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
National Archives of Australia
NSW Registry Births, Deaths and Marriages (familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au)
Victorian registry Births, Deaths and Marriages (justice.vic.gov.au)