Gilbert Henry Balinswella

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Personal Information
Date of Birth Apr 1877
Place of Birth Arrarat, Victoria
Death 9 Apr 1918, aged 41
Place of Death Dernancourt, France
Age at Enlistment 38 years, 8 months
Description 5'5" (1.65m) tall; weight 165lbs (66 kg)
Occupation Sleeper cutter
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Karragullen, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mrs Isabella Balinswella
Military Information
Reg Number 4079
Date of Enlistment 2 Jan 1916
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion
Date of Embarkation 1 Apr 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A38 Ulysses
Fate Killed in Action
Monument Karragullen Memorial Roll
WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

In 1907 Gilbert was married in the Murchison district to Annie M Kenny. They had no children and Gilbert was a widower when he enlisted. On the 1913 Electoral Roll, Gilbert was at 17-Mile, Noresman Line, woodcutter. His address on enlistment was Karragullen, and he had remarried to Nellie prior to embarking for Egypt.

War Service

Gilbert enlisted on 3 Jan 1916 at Blackboy Hill and undertook early training as a member of the 40th Depot Company before beiong allocated to the 10th Reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion. With them he embarked on HMAT A38 Ulysses in Fremantle on 6 Mar 1916 for Egypt, disembarking there on 25 Apr 1916. Soon after, on 29 May 1916 he embarked at Alexandria aboard HMT Tunisian for Marseilles in France, disembarking there on 5 Jun 1916.

On 14 Jul 1916 Gilbert was taken on strength by the 28th Battalion. He went AWOL from 9:00am to 10:30am on 14 Sep 1916, and was also charged with drunkeness. For this he was awarded 14 days Field Punishment No 2. On 1 Dec 1916 he was admitted to hospital, rejoining his unit on 4 Dec 1916. On 12 Dec 1916 Gilbert was charged with neglect - for failing to clean his ammunition. He was awarded 96 hours (4 days) Field Punishment, but appeared to have turned things around as on 31 Mar 1917 he was appointed Lance Corporal.

On 3 May 1917 Gilbert received shell wounds to his arm during the second attempt by the Australians to breach the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt. He was seen by the 5th Field Ambulance and passed back to the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station the following day. They in turn forwarded him to the 3rd Stationary Hospital at Rouen. On 17 May 1917 he was transferred to the 2nd London General Hospital aboard HMHS Western Australia. On 16 Jun 1917 he was released from hospital and granted leave until 30 Jun 1917. On 1 Jul 1917 he marched into No. 3 Command Depot at Pernham Downs and admitted the same day to the Tidworth Military Hospital with tinea. On 6 Jul 1917 he returned to duty, and was posted to the No. 1 Command Depot, remaining with them until he re-entered France on 31 Jul 1917.

Following a period with the No. 2 Division Base Depot in Le Havre, he rejoined his battalion on 18 Aug 1917. On 26 Sep 1917 he was promoted Temporary Corporal. Gilbert was seen by the 7th Field Ambulance on 17 Dec 1917 for an infection, and the next day he was promoted Corporal. On 24 Dec 1917 Gilbert was transferred to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station for treatment, returning to his unit on 19 Jan 1918. Gilbert was Killed in Action on 9 Apr 1918 by a stray shell whilst on a fatigue party north west of Dernancourt. He is buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Plot VIII, Row H, Grave No. 12

Dernancourt Cemetery.jpg Balinswella Gilbert.jpg


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