No.9345 Kenneth James Muirson
Kenneth was born in Armidale, New South Wales in 1890 to James Muirson and Ruth Diana Calthorpe who were married in 1887 in Drake New South Wales. They had six children:
- Jean Ruth Muirson (1888–1954)
- Kenneth James Muirson (1890–)
- Olive Mary Muirson (1892–1964)
- Eleanor Grace Muirson (1893–1972)
- Francis Muirson (1894–1895)
- Mary Isabel Muirson (1896–1959)
Kenneth was 25 years and 9 months old when he enlisted on 18 September 1915 at Melbourne, Victoria. His occupation was an engineer. He was described as 5 feet 6 inches tall. He weighed 107 lbs and had a sallow complexion with brown eyes and brown hair. He was a single man and listed his father as his next of kin, James Muirson, who at that time was living on a small farm called Kelpie on Duncan's Road, Werribee, Victoria.
His unit was the 2nd Australian Motor Transport Section and he embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 12 January 1916. He disembarked on 17 February 1916 and joined Australian Mechanical Transport Service at Gamrah, Cairo.
On 18 February 1916, he was admitted to 2nd Australian General Hospital at Ghezireh Palace, Cairo, Egypt with Trachoma.
On 26 March 1916, he was admitted to a hospital in Alexandria with abscess of feet and then was transferred to the Montazah Palace Convalescent Hospital, also known as the Sultan's Palace Convalescent Hospital at Montazah, Alexandria.
18 April 1916, Kenneth was admitted to Abbasia with cellulitis. The Egyptian Army Barracks at Abbassia (on the outskirts of Cairo) were used as an Australian hospital from August 1915 until 1919.
He embarked on 8 June 1916 overseas with the British Expeditionary Forces from Alexandria and disembarked at Marseilles on 16 June 1916.
Kenneth was then transferred to Base Mechanical Transport Depot at Rouen, France on 7 August 1916. He marched out to the 4th D.A.S.P. (Demountable Artillery Surveillance Pod) on 11 August 1916.
On 21 March 1917, in Belgium, he was blown out of a motor lorry carrying shells and was unconscious for two hours, before being sent to a rest camp where he remained for six weeks. He developed a marked speech impediment, tremulous-nervy and excitable. Condition is from shell concussion - Shellshock.
On 2 February 1918, he came over on leave to England from France and on 15 February 1918 he reported sick at Horseferry Road, London. From there he was discharged on 20 February 1919 to No. 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott.
For the soldiers who had been wounded and shipped back to hospitals in England, there was a defined process for their recovery and training. As no Australian General Hospitals were established in Britain during the conflict, Australian casualties arriving from France went to British hospitals right across the country. Upon discharge from hospital, they were then sent to one of the four Command Depots in Wiltshire and Dorset to convalesce and continue their recovery.
Kenneth was admitted sick to Belfast Hospital on 28 April 1918 and discharged to No.2 Command Depot, Weymouth.
On 5 June 1918, he was admitted to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield and discharged to No 2 Command Depot Weymouth.
Board recommendations were ..."that he has greatly improved and is fit for Home Service. Owing to his Neurasthenic breakdown on Service, it is unlikely that he will be fit for General Service".
Kenneth was discharged in London, England on 18 July 1918. Reason given was to take up employment as an Australian Munition Worker as he was medically unfit.
He worked under Australian Imperial Forces 4th Ammunition Sub Park, London, England and lived at 25 Clanricarde Gardens, Hyde Park, W2.
Kenneth received the Silver War Badge on 17 July 1918, which was issued in the United Kingdom and the British Empire to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness from military service in World War I. The badge, sometimes known as the Discharge Badge; the Wound Badge, or Services Rendered Badge, was first issued in September 1916, along with an official certificate of entitlement.
The Werribee Shire Banner had many articles during the war and there were a lot of “Welcome home to returned soldiers” events.
One such article mentioned Driver K.J. Muirson, 4th A.A.S.P. [Australian Ammunition Sub-Park] A.I.F., having served in Egypt, France and Belgium, who received a Wyndham Shire gold medal at a function at the Werribee Mechanics Hall.
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 June 1919, p.3.
Australian Electoral rolls have Kenneth James Muirson in Fawkner, Victoria in 1919. Living at Delgetti, Park Street, South Yarra.
Kenneth married Kristian Annie Fraser, and an article about their marriage and her war service was published in the Weekly Times. At the time they were living at “Delgetti”, in South Yarra.
Weekly Times, 1 November 1919, p.49.
At some stage they moved to Cooma, New South Wales where he was a farmer.
In 1925, his wife went to England on a holiday and was staying with her brother, William MacGregor Fraser at Town House, Ighthan, Seven Oaks, Kent. Her brother cabled Kenneth stating that his wife was suffering from the effects of a stroke, and it was no doubt the cause of her death on 28 April 1925.
Kenneth applied, in May 1925, for probate on his late wife's estate, with his address at that time being “Nioka”, near Cooma, New South Wales.
The Manaro Mercury, and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, 29 May 1925, p.2.
In March 1955, he travelled by the ship Iberia to London possibly to see his wife's grave and her family.
Kenneth remained in England, and died at Eastbourne, Kent, on 2 October 1960.
ancestry.com – English Death Index - Quarter 4, 5h 245.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal