Alfred Ernest Morris was born on April 12th, 1889 in Mount Gambier, South Australia to Evan and Jemima Keziah Morris [Nee Watts]. He was one of 12 children the couple would have between 1882 and 1901. His family lived around Mount Gambier, but it appears that Alfred moved to Western Australia in about 1914.
Alfred Morris in civilian clothes
Alfred enlisted into the A.I.F on February 18th, 1915 at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia and allotted service number 2021. He was assigned to the 16th Battalion, 5th Reinforcements. He trained for a few months before embarking from Fremantle, Western Australia on April 26th, 1915 via H.M.A.T A20 'Hororata', the day after A.I.F landed on Gallipoli. He was taken onto the strength of the 16th Battalion on August 13th, 1915. His Brigade at the time was involved in taking Hill 971 on the Sari Bair ridge, where they suffered a number off casualties, though the 16th only lost just over 100 men in August. He was admitted into hospital on August 30th with Influenza and was sent to Imbros Island. He went on to London War Hospital on September 18th, then was taken onto strength of his Battalion on January 19th, 1916. Alfred went to the 48th Battalion on April 19th, taken onto strength on the same day. He was appointed to Temporary Lance Corporal on May 22nd and then two days later he went to the 12th (Brigade) Machine Gun Company. Alfred left Alexandria on June 2nd and arrived in Marseilles on the 11th. He was appointed full Corporal on August 10th. He went to hospital on September 14th with Influenza, discharged to duty the same day.
Forwards and reverse of a postcard, dated September 22nd, 1916. Alfred is the Corporal in the middle row, far left.
12 MG Coy France Sep(tember) 22. Well old Boy, I'm not going to put much news on here for you, as you can always get it from home. This is just to see if you can pick out the old D??? out & to let you know that I am still amongst the living. We are having a quite (sic: should be quiet) time of it here at present by way of a change, though God only knows how long it will last like it. Our previous possy (position) was hot enough for the Devil & I don't want any more like it. Will be going in again in a few days. Will close for the present. Wishing you and the old girl (their sister?) the best of luck. From your never to be forgotten wild Bro. Alf.
Alfred was promoted to Sergeant the day after Sergeant C.E Challingsworth was killed on January 21st, 1917. On August 6th he went to England apart of an M.G depot in England. On October 13th, Alfred married one Agnes Stewart Fergusson who would unfortunately die during the final weeks of the war. He was marched out to No.1 Australian Command Depot in Sutton Veny on November 29th. After quite a spell in England, he went back to France on March 1st, 1918 from Folkstone, arriving in Camiers on the 2nd, then arrived at his old unit, the 12th Machine Gun Company on March 6th at Flers.
12th Machine Gun Company at Ypres
Members of the 12th Machine Gun Company
During March 1918, the 4th Machine Gun Battalion was taking shape in France, being made up of the 4th, 12th, 13th and 24th Machine Gun Company, with the Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Harry Murray, V.C, C.M.G, D.S.O and Bar, D.C.M or otherwise known as 'Mad Harry'. On April 5th, 1918, Alfred was wounded at Dernancourt after a shell wounded him in the chin. He went to the 1st Australian Hospital on April 15th, then reported to No.1 Australian Command Depot on May 5th. On August 3rd, he went to the Australian Overseas Training Brigade, then on the 16th he went to the M.G Training Depot. On January 14th, 1919 he marched out to the Reserve Brigade Australian Artilery [R.B.A.A]. On February 4th, he was charged for being AWL. It reads..
Offence: A.W.L from 2359 [hours from] 3/2/19 to 2259 [hours on] 4/2/19. Award: Admonished by Maj. D.Y Dixon[?]. Total forf. 1 days pay.
He began his return to Australia on March 28th, 1919 from England. On May 1st, he was admitted to the ships hospital with Tertiary Syphilis [V.D]. He would arrive at 4th M.D on May 21st, being discharged on July 21st, 1919 at 4th M.D after over 4 years in the service.
Sergeant Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris married again to Florence May Walker [1893-1976], who gave him four children, two of which served in the Second World War..
A.I.F SX19591 Frederick James 'Jim' Morris [1924-1997], 55/53rd Infantry Battalion in the South West Pacific Area in 1944-45
R.A.N PA4070 William John 'Jack' Morris [1925-2013], served on several different Naval ships/bases during 1943-45.
Alfred Ernest Morris lived to 68 years old, dying on March 10th, 1958 in Mount Gambier, South Australia. All his children outlived him by over 40 years and over.
Alfred Morris in 1936 with a grandchild.
Alfred Ernest Morris would've been entitled to the standard 'Pips, Squeak and Wilfred'
1914-15 Star British War Medal Victory Medal