Edward Armstrong

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Edward Armstrong
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1883
Place of Birth Camberfield, Victoria
Death 3 Jan 1925, aged 45
Place of Death Perth, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 32 years
Description 5' 6" (1.68m) tall ; 130 lbs
58.967 kg
; dark complexion ; blue eyes ; black hair
Occupation Engine driver
Religion Presbyterian
Address NOK 423 Newcastle street, Perth, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Alice Armstrong
Military Information
Reg Number 4665
Date of Enlistment 14 Feb 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement, 2 Platoon, C Company / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 17 Apr 1916 ‒ 2 Jun 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas
Date of Embarkation 2 Jun 1916 ‒ 12 Jun 1916
Ship Embarked On HMT Minnetonka
Date of Return 16 Jun 1919 ‒ 24 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On RMS Ormonde
Fate Prisoner of War, captured 16 Nov 1916 at Gueudecourt
Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Beenup panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Edward married Alice Kelly in Perth in 1912.

War Service

Six weeks after commencing training (i.e. 1 Apr 1916), Edward was allocated to the 12th Reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion. Local members of this draft who travelled to Egypt with Edward are Gordon Edgar (George) Bennett, Joseph Charles Joshua Farnell, and Keith Herbert Sloan, as well as Arthur Edward Bingham, Gordon Vidgen Cross, Alfred Arthur (Fred) Rouse, Herbert Winton Turner, and John Francis Ullyott from the 17th Reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion.

On 12 Jun 1916 Edward disembarked from HMT Minnetonka in Plymouth, having departed Alexandria on 2 Jun 1916. During training with the 7th Training Battalion in Rollestone, Edward overstayed his leave from midnight 27 Jul 1916 until 1:30pm on 28 Jul 1916. For this he forfeited a day's pay, and was confined to camp for 1 day.

He proceeded overseas to France on 15 Sep 1916, where he and forty other reinforcements joined the 28th Battalion on 26 Sep 1916 near Steenvoorde, France, just west of the Belgium border and Ypres. On the evening of 16th November, while working as a stretcher bearer, carrying 19th Battalion casualties out of the line near Warlencourt, he and his fellow bearers were captured by the Germans. They had been caught sheltering in a dugout with their wounded when the Germans rushed the Australian lines. Reported to be wounded in his records, he made no mention of having been wounded in his POW statement.

Repatriated to Hull from Rotterdam aboard HMT Archangel he was sent on 30 Nov 1918 to Rippon where all ex POWs were debriefed. At Ripon it is noted that he was interned at Kommandantur Wahn in the Rhineland. Granted some leave, he was charged with being AWOL from 15 - 16 Jan 1919, for which he was admonished and required to forfeit a day's pay. On 23 Jan 1919 he was awarded 2 days Field Punishment No.2 (see notes below) for absenting himself from a parade. He also forfeited 2 day's pay.

During his return voyage to Australia, he spent from 11 - 17 Jul 1919 in the ship's hospital. Edward was discharged by 5th Military District on 7 Sep 1919.

POW Statement extract:' Acting as a stretcher bearer, and captured while waiting in a bunker with three others to take some injured from the 19th Battalion to the rear. Initially taken to Bapaume, then to Cambrai 3 days later. On 28th Dec 1916 he was taken to Vendhuille, remaining there until 11 Mar 1917, and then to Maretz until the 22nd of May. Transferred to Munster 2 in Germany for 7 days, before going on to Minden for a further 6 weeks until 16 July 1917. Next camp was Horde, where he worked "on commando" in an iron foundry until the Armistice. At one point he refused to work as the iron was being made for grenades, and was subsequently poorly treated. He reported the British POW who acted as interpreter for his behaviour towards prisoners. His return to England was via Munster 2 (16th Nov 1918), then to Rotterdam and the HMT Archangel to Hull and then to Ripon on 30 Nov 1918. Armstrong_Edward_POW_statement

Edward's Red Cross File held at the AWM [1]. is almost unreadable, but two different witnesses mention that he had written to a friend in the battalion to advise that he was a POW having been captured with others after being surprised by a party of Germans. His movements between German POW camps are included in the file.

His wife's pension of 40/- ($4) per fortnight granted on 4 Apr 1917, was cancelled from 19 Jul 1917, seemingly as a result of the investigation of his wife's behaviour on his behalf

Post War

Armstrong v Armstrong.

Edward Armstrong sought a dissolution of his marriage with Alice Armstrong, naming Thomas Young as co-respondent. The case was called on last Wednesday, but it was found that the notice given to the respondent and co-respondent did not expire until yesterday.

His Honour, however, agreed to take the evidence of Constable Charles Turner, who was in the Court, and to consider it with the remainder of the evidence. The facts of the case as outlined were that the petitioner was married to respondent on December 19th 1912 at the District Registrar's Office, Perth, and subsequently at the Roman Catholic Cathedral. Petitioner joined the army and left the State in April of 1916. He was for two years a prisoner of war and was only released on the signing of the Armistice.

During petitioner's absence respondent drew an allotment from petitioner and her brother, and also allowances from other sources. Respondent fell into bad company, and was convicted on several occasions for disorderly conduct, and was now at the Home of the Good Shepherd.

On May 31, 1917, respondent was discovered in bed at the Shaftesbury Hotel, with a man who subsequently proved to be Young. The reason proceedings were delayed so long were owing to petitioner being a prisoner of war. His Honour, in granting a decree nisi, returnable in six months, remarked that it was another of the cases in which the wife of a soldier had too much money to spend and too much time on her hands. He was satisfied that adultery had been committed. Mr. A. J Clark appeared for the petitioner.[2]


Field punishment could be awarded by a court martial or a commanding officer for any offence committed on active service. There were two categories of field punishment. Field punishment No. 2 consisted of heavy labouring duties, and several hours a day shackled . All offenders awarded field punishment would march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.


  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Edward Armstrong". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  2. "DIVORCE.". The West Australian. XXXV, (5,442). Western Australia. 16 September 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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