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Reuben Arnold MM

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Reuben Arnold MM
Arnold Rueben.jpg
King's Park Memorial walk, May drive
Personal Information
Date of Birth January 1886
Place of Birth South Brighton, Victoria
Death 1 Nov 1917, aged 31
Place of Death Passchendaele, Belgium
Age at Enlistment 30 years, 1 month
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address Serpentine, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Robert Arnold
Military Information
Reg Number 5310
Date of Enlistment 7 Mar 1916
Rank Sergeant Armourer
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 14th reinforcement / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 9 Aug 1916 ‒ 25 Sep 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A28 Miltiades
Fate Wounded in Action 20 Sep 1917
Wounded in Action 29 Oct 1917
DOW 1 Nov 1917 (gas poisoning)
Monument Serpentine Roll of Honour
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals Military Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

Reuben was born in Brighton Victoria in January 1886, the eldest son of Robert and Ellen Arnold. The family later moved to Western Australia and they resided in Lake Street North Perth. He attended state schools in Victoria and Perth. Reuben was an accomplished distance runner, footballer and swimmer. He was also a very good axeman and won several competitions while working at Ardath in the Bruce Rock area. He was working as a woodcutter when he enlisted in Serpentine in February 1916.

Electoral Roll entries - 1909 - 1914 Serpentine, farmer; 1916 at Baandee with brother James, farming.

War Service

Reuben enlisted on 7 Mar 1916 and at Northam he was allocated to the 14th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion. On 9 Aug 1916 he boarded HMAT A28 Miltiades, and disembarked in Plymouth on 15 Sep 1916. On 26 Sep 1916 he was with the 7th Training Battalion at Rollestone, and after completing his training he proceeded overseas on the HMT Victoria from Folkestone on 13 Dec 1916. Reuben joined the 28th Battalion on 18 Dec 1916 where they were in billets at St Vaast-en-Chaussee. He was appointed Lance Corporal on 23 Feb 1917, and promoted Temporary Corporal 13 Mar 1917 and then Temporary Sergeant on 1 Apr 1917.

Admitted to the 13th Field Ambulance with myalgia on 13 Apr 1917 he was transferred to the 9th General Hospital at Rouen via Ambulance Train on 24 Apr 1917. Following a period in the No. 2 Convalescent Depot between 29 Apr and 1 May 1917 he transferred to the No. 11 Convalescent Depot at Buchy from 2 May until 25 Aug 1917. Reuben rejoined his battalion near Steenvorde as a Corporal on 1 Sep 1917. almost immediately he was wounded on 20 Sep 1917 with a Shell Wound to the head while waiting to advance on German positions on Westhoek Ridge. Seen by the 6th Field Ambulance on 20 Sep 1917 he was transferred to the 10th Casualty Clearing Station on 22 Sep 1917 and then admitted to the 16th General Hospital via Ambulance Train on 4 Oct 1917. After a period in the No. 3 Convalescent Depot at Le Tréport. On 14 Oct 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal.


He rejoined the battalion on 21 Oct 1917, before being again wounded on 29 Oct 1917 (gassed - mustard gas). He was seen by the 3rd Field Ambulance before being moved to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station, in Belgium, where he died from the affects of the gas poisoning on 1 Nov 1917.

Letter from OC 17th Casualty Clearing Station included in Red Cross file.[1].
"The late Pte R. Arnold 28th Battalion AIF was admitted to this hospital suffering from the effects of severe shell gas poisoning and his condition was critical. He did not improve and it is with regret I have to inform you of his death at 8:20pm on the 1.11.17 in this hospital. He was buried the following day in the soldier's cemetery near to this hospital, his grave being duly marked and registered."

"was a Corporal, acting Armorer Sgt at the time. Called "Rube", he was gassed with me at Passchendaele Ridge on Oct 29h and died Nov 1st. I did not see him being gassed myself, but Pte J.H. Hextall, Orderly Room, 28th Battalion, France, saw him and can give full details required. We were holding the line at the time. There were 18 of us gassed at the time and we all walked out to the Casualty Clearing Station, 13 of them have died. I believe he died at Étaples. He was not supposed to be in the line. 5348 Pte A.E.Dunn.

Award Comment

Military Medal:

'For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. At the attack on WESTHOEK RIDGE on 20th September 1917, on learning that his Company was too far to the left, he worked most energetically to get the men back and gave great help to his officers. When some of the men went into our own barrage, he moved forward at great personal risk and got them back. He showed fine judgement in consolidating, and set a splendid example until he was wounded late in the afternoon.'[2][3]
  • Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Notes

Buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Plot XXI, Row FF, Grave No. 8A).

  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Rueben Arnold". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  2. Commonwealth Gazette Dated 2 May 1918, page 1033, position 2.
  3. London Gazette dated 12 December 1917, page 13024, position 12.

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