Arthur Thomas Orton MM

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Arthur Thomas Orton MM
Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown 1897
Place of Birth London, Hammersmith, Middlesex, England
Death 12 Dec 1939
Place of Death Mt Hawthorn, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 11 months
Description 5'7¼" (1.71m) tall ; 149 lbs
67.585 kg
; sallow complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Dairy farmer
Religion Church of England
Address 'Ferry Downs', Beenup, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Florence Orton.
Military Information
Reg Number 1774
Date of Enlistment 18 Jan 1915
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 12th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement but transferred to 3rd Machine Gun Coy (later redesignated 1st MG Battalion)
Date of Embarkation 19 Apr 1915 ‒ ?? May 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A8 Argyllshire Fremantle to Egypt
Date of Return 21 Jun 1918 ‒ 3 Aug 1919
Ship Returned On SS Königin Luise England to Fremantle
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Beenup panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals Military Medal
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

After entering Blackboy Hill camp, Arthur is allocated to the 4th reinforcement draft for the 12th Battalion, and travelled with them to Egypt before being taken on strength by the battalion proper on 26 May 1915 on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Influenza stuck, and on 19 Aug 1915 he was seen by the 1st Field Ambulance and sent on to the 2nd Field Ambulance before being evacuated to Mudros. He was embarked on HMT Caledonia for England, where he was admitted to the 1st London General Hospital in Camberwell on 1 Sep 1915. It wasn't until 25 Mar 1916 that he was returned to Alexandria in Egypt on HMT Huntspill.

He joined the 3rd Training Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir on 17 Apr 1916 and a week later was made acting Corporal. On 9 May 1916 he was transferred to the 3rd Brigade's Machine Gun Company at Tel-el-Kebir as a Private. By 20 May 1916 he was in France as on that day he was with the 1st Division's Base Depot in Étaples. During the period late May to Late Oct 1916 Arthur rotated between the Machine Gun Base Depot and the 1st Division's Base Depot, but eventually he reached the 3rd Brigade's Machine Gun Company, joining them on 29 Oct 1916.

On 9 Mar 1917 Arthur seeks treatment from the 1st Field Ambulance for scabies, rejoining the 3rd Machine Gun Company on 21 Mar 1917. On 22 Jun 1917 he again seeks medical attention, this time the source of infection was not determined, and he rejoined his unit on 1 Jul 1917. On 2 Sep 1917 Arthur was sent to England for two weeks leave and soon after his return he was appointed as a Lance Corporal on 26 Sep 1917, before being sent to the Army Rest Camp on 14 Oct 1917 for another month's rest. It was while he was in the rest camp that he received word that he had been awarded the Military Medal. He rejoined the Machine Gun Company on 14 Nov 1917

He had several short stints in hospital with Eczema, beginning in Dec 1917, but on 26 Mar 1918 he received severe accidental burns to his face, neck and hands that required hospitalisation. At the time he was involved in a training course at the 3rd Brigade School. Treated first by the 11th Casualty Clearing Station, he was placed on Ambulance Train No. 26 for Calais where he was admitted to the 10th Canadian Stationary Hospital on 29 Mar 1918.

Arthur was evacuated on 1 Apr 1918 to England from Calais on the HS Ville de Liege and entered the Mile End Military Hospital in Bancroft before being released on 12 Apr 1918 to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital. Recovered, on 15 Apr 1918 he was sent to the 3rd Command Depot in Hurdcott, and then the Overseas Training Brigade before returning to his unit in France on 1 Dec 1918 via Folkestone. During this time in England he had married Edith Ellen Gabriel on 29 Apr 1918 in Hammersmith, London. Enid was 5 or more years older than Arthur.

On 17 Jan 1919 he moved back to England, to begin his journey home, but waited for a ship carrying men and their wives, the SS Königin Luise. He was discharged by the 5th Military District on 2 Oct 1919.

1917 Feb-Mar edition. "... He was wounded in Gallipoli, and spent six months in hospitals in Malta and England. Has since been transferred to a machine gun section and is now in France."

Award Comment

Military Medal

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On 4/10/1917 at BROODSEINDE RIDGE, L/Cpl ORTON, having been buried by a shell which killed one and wounded two of his gun crew refused to leave his gun and carried on. On the following day he was again buried under precisely the same circumstances and badly shaken, but despite his officer's advice to the contrary, he persisted in remaining with his gun until relieved on 10/10/17" [1] [2]

Post War

Married in England on 29 Apr 1918 to Edith Ellen Gabriel who was 26 years old, living in Cambridge road, Hammersmith, London. Edith died 4 May 1969 aged 78 in Maylands.

Electoral Roll entries - On arrival back in WA, Arthur joined the Police force, and in 1922 - 1925 they are at 5 Fairbairn street, Fremantle; 1928 - 1937 Police station Quairading; Prior to Arthur's death, he and Edith move to 14 The Boulevarde, Leederville where Edith remained until after 1954, given that in 1958 she was at 72 Onslow road, Shenton Park; in 1963 at 42 Waroonga road, Claremont; 1968- 1969 at 3 Kirkham Hill terrace, Maylands. Children Ray and Joan E (1927 - )


  1. Fourth Supplement, No 30498 to the 'London Gazette' dated 28th January 1918 at position 16
  2. 'Commonwealth Gazette' No.95 Date: 27 June 1918 page 1391 at position 13

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