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gilly100

Albert Facey 11Bn AIF

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gilly100

Hi All

I have chosen a new thread regarding the debate on the truthfulness of Facey's iconic work 'A Fortunate Life' ,with regard to his claim of landing at Gallipoli on 25 April, his wounds and the general authenticity of the books story and who put it together pending publication in 1981 only 9 months or so prior to his passing.

For now I will only touch on a few points, with more to come as research unfolds.

It has been claimed in Crunchy's good book that Facey fabricated his claim of landing that day based on his service file indicating a TOS date of D Coy, 11Bn at Gallipoli on 7 May, and that his mentions of wounds sustained while serving there show no mention in his service file other than heart trouble and debility.

On pages 43 and 44 of the eternal Turk MGs at Gallipoli Landing thread there are references from Crunchy, myself and LonerangerVC regarding all this.

Addressing post 1072, p43 by Crunchy, in which is stated the following regarding Facey's involvement in penning his book, quote

"... Additionally five people approached me through my publisher to say they believe Facey's book is false in other respects than the two issues I found in his service record. One of the correspondents had first hand knowledge of the books origins and advised that much of it was concocted, and wasn't actually written by Facey, apparently his submission was three small notebooks of almost unintelligible writing."

On 26 January myself and a mate met with the Facey family at the home of Alberts second child, Olive, who was turning 94 years of age on28 January. Stooped and hard of hearing, but nevertheless very alert and clear of thinking and speech, we engaged in conversation for a couple of hours. It was a privilege to be there I must say. My friend had already viewed some of the photocopied manuscripts and the type copy held at UWA.

Since then, with the co operation of the family I can report on the original hand written notebooks, in the hand of Albert Facey thus.

There are 3 separate handwritten manuscripts, all in Facey's hand

1. Two Democrat memo books totalling 106 pages covering 1894 to 1916. Scrappy but readable writing with poor punctuation.

2. Two Jumbo foolscap notebooks totalling 107 pages and one empty notebook covering 1896 to 1958.

Improved writing and punctuation and fully readable.

3. Four notebooks, one by A4 Embassy exercise book covering 1894 to 1908, one Gordon A4 exercise book covering 1908 to 1915, one foolscap Democrat notebook covering 1915 to 1924 and one foolscap Tudor account book covering 1924 to the end. The last mentioned remains with other family and does not reside at UWA. The first 3 of this last version total 558 pages, all handwritten by Facey, with much improved grammar and punctuation. All readable. This last version was type copied and sent to then called Fremantle Arts Centre Press for perusal and publication.

So that gives a true perspective on the level of work put in by Albert Facey. Having viewed parts of this work I can say it is much easier to read than notes written by the 11Bn officers Drake Brockman and Denton,, even Tulloch. All well educated men too. Importantly, every version written by Facey maintains he landed onn25 April.

I am still collating checks on all parts of Facey's life and will comment more in due course, but much of what I have checked both pre and post war so far checks out.

I am aware that the account on Facey in the Australian Dictionary of Biography by JB Hirst talks of ' considerable artifice' and factual errors in the final version or book, but until I have checked more I will refrain from further comment.

His manuscripts give greater detail than the book and hearten me that he indeed was honest in his accounts where he himself is being referenced. More to do, but I am chuffed to have met Olive and some others of the Facey family, and feel if one wants to go after someone, especially one that has a book that has sold well over 500, 000 copies, won awards, a play and mini series done, then one needs to dig much deeper than a simple B2455 service record search and reliance on others comments on his manuscripts. Crunchy's book stands very well alone without the negative take down of this man and his work. Far from proven beyond doubt, just like the whole mg issue in my opinion.

Ian

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frev

Gilly - Amazingly I haven't yet read Facey's book, and I definitely haven't been following the mammoth thread on Machine Guns - so I'm not really up on the debate - but your post interested me.

Having a quick look at his service file, as well as his pay file - and I can see why it's believed he wasn't at the Landing.

It would be interesting to know if his original 'pay book' still exists - because according to his 'pay card', he was paid at Zeitoun on the 30/4/1915 - and I would think that if this entry was also in his pay book, it would be definite proof that he wasn't at Gallipoli on the 30/4/15......might be worth chasing up!

Cheers, Frev

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gilly100

Hi Frev

Yes I had seen the pay ledger and considered along with his service file the same, but chose to dig a bit deeper. His repat files and DVA stuff indicated a bullet wound left shoulder and tachycardia attributed to war service, hence his war pension.

The manuscript mentions his pleasure on the arrival of the second and third reos in May, which was not in the book, as well as reference to him being in 13 platoon or 1st platoon D Company rather than 16 platoon or four platoon as mentioned in the book. Faceys account of the first day and few days following tend to align with Charles Gostelow OC 13 platoon more so than Buttles 16 platoon.

His description of how platoons boarded destroyers from each side of his transport also align with the likelihood that platoons from B and D Coys were split across both the Usk and Chelmer. Other 11Bn mens letters and diaries of those who were definitely there indicate this also.

The pre war stuff I checked like his stepfather by name Downie playing footy for Subiaco bore out, although records of life members only began in 1914, before Downies couple of years at Subi. The Xmas 1918 Tramways strike and the President of the Union, Tom Bycroft were correct, along with Faceys time at the helm during WW2. The Mickey Flynn boxing troupe and some of the named boxers are correct for the time.

The mention of his older brother Vern being on the Sydney during its clash with Emden does not look right. He did serve in the navy and later used John Facey to join AIF in late 1915. Deserted serving in Navy and army and did time in jail in UK. Did see service in France in 1918, but was always in strife. Perhaps the story came from Vern himself who died in Perth in1951.

I did ask if Alberts pay book survived but sadly not. I had been advised that AIF pay records were sometimes chaotic so moved on in further search.

Ironically, Facey's description of dead and dying on the beach that morning seem quite similar to one of the chaps firing back, Lt Hayrettin Ibrahim around Fisherman's Hut. Of course we should believe his description of the dead on the beaches, but not our blokes.

Whatever the truth, Facey deserves a greater level of checks. Still searching for more.

Ian

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gilly100

Another piece of Facey's story that checks out is his reference to going into an isolation ward at what is todays WA Army Museum at Fremantle Artillery Barracks. Not many would have known of this one room that was set aside at this time related to by Facey. It was only in operation for a short period of time in late 1914 before something similar was set up at the No8 AGH down the road near todays Fremantle Hospital. One of the staff at the museum confirmed this when we enquired. Some that volunteer there were also oblivious to this piece of the barracks history. This would also indicate Facey did indeed join up prior to what his surviving service records state and he does mention being put back into a reinforcement group on returning to Blackboy Hill in early 1915. His name did not come up in routine orders, although not every single movement of an enlisted man was recorded of course.

His reference to the double company structure being invoked prior to January 1915 is at odds with all other records, although he may just have confused the times regarding this point.

Regarding the main thrust of this post, one could ask, why would Facey make up this story? Highly unlikely when put against the rest of his life story and general good and honest character. More to come in due course.

Ian

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Fedelmar

Thought this might be of interest to some, it is from the History channel.

http://h100.tv/

If you look underneath the first veiwing pane, there are a series of program clips and the right >, click on the arrow and you will see the short film clip about Facey.

Hope it works ...

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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gilly100

Thanks Sandra

Well that looks like Professor Peter Stanley having his say on the veracity of Albert Faceys book. Thoroughly enjoyed several of Stanleys books, but I would have to ask the professor. Did you view all of Faceys handwritten manuscripts? Did you speak with the family on how his notes were written and how they evolved and when? Perhaps he just read Roberts book and viewed his service record and that was enough to cast his judgement. Stanley might be better served, with all his acumen, digging into Turkish records, finding what has not been made available, before he sprouts words on Facey on History Channel. Pretty disappointing from someone generally regarded as one of Australias leading military history writers and academics.

Anyone who has viewed B2455 AIF service records in their multiple hundreds will know they are not always accurate, even with wound dates and date of death. The Facey family should have been given a right of reply at the least. I have already put up some of my findings. A bullet wound to left shoulder had to be Gallipoli, but did anyone bother to look at his DVA and Repat files? No, and therein lies the problem with these lauded writers and historians. Quite frankly, it's pathetic.

Ian

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WhiteStarLine

Oh the sheer irony of telling Peter Stanley he should be "digging into Turkish records". I recently attended the launch of Prof Mesut Uyar's book, warmly introuduced by his colleague Peter Stanley. Mesut used his skills in old Ottoman script, coupled with his Turkish military service experience and academic credentials to write a definitive book on The Ottoman Defence against the Anzac Landing: 25 April 1915 and from his opening and closing comments his colleague Peter has clearly been taking this opportunity "digging into Turkish records".

Here is the description of the book Peter introduced, from http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Campaign-Series/The-Ottoman-Defence-Against-The-Anzac-Landing/1107/productview.aspx:

Descriptions of the Ottoman forces such as the composition of units, the men who commanded them, their weapons, capabilities and reactions to the ANZAC invasion have generally remained undocumented or described in piecemeal fashion based on secondary sources. The lack of a Turkish perspective has made it almost impossible to construct a balanced account of the events of that fateful April day.

The Ottoman Defence against the Anzac Landing: 25 April 1915 seeks to redress this imbalance, portraying the Ottoman experience based on previously unpublished Ottoman and Turkish sources. This meticulously researched volume describes the Ottoman Army in fascinating detail from its order of battle, unit structure and composition, training and doctrine to the weapons used against the ANZACs. Using Ottoman military documents, regimental war diaries, personal accounts and memoirs, author Mesut Uyar describes the unfolding campaign, unravelling its complexity and resolving many of the questions that have dogged accounts for a century. This valuable chronicle will enhance readers’ understanding of the Ottoman war machine, its strengths and weaknesses and why it proved so successful in containing the Allied invasion. Detailed maps and photographs published for the first time add clarity and portray many of the men the ANZACs referred to with grudging respect as ‘Johnny Turk’.

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Fedelmar

Bill, I think you missed the rest of that comment "digging into Turkish records, finding what has not been made available". The telling part clearly being records that have NOT been made available not those that HAVE. Irrespective, the post was about Facey and not about Turkish records.

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gilly100

One irony I can think of is another 11bn reo whose service record says TOS after 25 April, yet letters from another 11bn man, his mate, records him as at the Landing. But perhaps just another Digger telling fibs about his mate, although why might be a pertinent point. Then there is another 11bn reo with two TOS dates in his service file, his letter to his wife vindicating the earlier date.

But of course, unless one does some serious digging before casting someone as a liar, its just nice and easy to claim a high profile scalp.

Can't wait for the day a letter or diary pops up that mentions Albert Facey pre 7 May. I will make sure his family in Perth are informed. They deserve better than the current shallowest of conclusions.

Ian

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Waddell

Sandra,

I can't find that short video on the site? Can see all the others but can't find the Facey one.

Scott

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Fedelmar

Hello Scott ... good to see your name :)

If you wait till the page is fully loaded, underneath the video viewing screen, there are a series of clips to view. To the right of that (underneath the sound icon) is the symbol >. Click on that and the Facey one is right at the very end.

Might I suggest that you read the thread again after watching it :)

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Waddell

Hi Sandra,

Found a direct link to it on the History Channel's social media outlet page for November 6 if any one else is having trouble with it-

https://www.facebook.com/HistoryAustralia/?fref=nf

Scott

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Auimfo

One irony I can think of is another 11bn reo whose service record says TOS after 25 April, yet letters from another 11bn man, his mate, records him as at the Landing. But perhaps just another Digger telling fibs about his mate, although why might be a pertinent point. Then there is another 11bn reo with two TOS dates in his service file, his letter to his wife vindicating the earlier date.

Ian,

Could you share with us the names of these particular examples and provide a little more detail - i.e. which reinforcements group were they from? I'm interested to compare this against my own list as I've recently trawled through all the service records of the 2nd and 3rd reinforcements of the 11th Bn.

During my search I located 19 OR's who were TOS to the battalion in the days prior to the landing. Add to this number the handful of officers that were TOS along with them and you arrive at a figure of somewhere near the mid-20's. This figure is similar to that recorded in a number of contemporary and more recent sources (Including yours :thumbsup: ). There were also a significant number of others who were either seconded to the 'Beach Parties' or TOS of the battalion on 28/4/15. But significantly, all of these men were taken from the 2nd reinforcements.

All of the 3rd reinforcements, including Facey, were listed as having landed on or after 7th May (except two who TOS 28/4/15), and this is corroborated in the Unit Diary which mentions a large number of reinforcements arriving at that time.

But a most revealing fact is that of all the 3rd reinforcements, not one of them was recorded as wounded or killed prior to 7th May. It would seem probable that if a certain number of them actually did TOS early and took part in the landing, then there's a very good likelihood that at least one of them would be wounded or killed between then and the 7th May. But nope - not a single one.

Cheers,

Tim L.

P.S. - If you'd like the names of the '19', just let me know and I'll get them to you.

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gilly100

Tim

With regard to your first request I am unable to oblige as this forms part of another writers future work, and he does not use this forum. I did check the names and TOS dates and they did not marry with the letters. Make of that what we will. I too checked every 2nd and 3rd reo service file, quite some numbers and your numbers and observations tally very similar to mine, although I think one 3rd reo was marked on his service file as TOS pre landing for a beach party from memory. I simply hand wrote every man down on paper and it is now in Perth with others, while I reside in Bali. An important exercise in assisting in trying to get to the bottom of all this. Aside from you and me did anyone else do it? I too found no 3rd reo KIA or WIA pre 7 May and I see what you allude to.

But then we have blokes landing in boats completely untouched while others were decimated. I have one Aussie soldier saw the entire war from 25 April 1915 to late 1918, rising from private to lieutenant, getting and MC and fighting DSO. Never sick bar a self inflicted STD and never wounded, fighting in almost every action from start to finish. So is it possible 24 ORs from 3rd reos arrived late to Lemnos unrecorded and landed on 25 April? Maybe, maybe not.

My points in this whole discussion have been that not enough research has been done to say either way and that is not fair to Facey and his family. My other point was why use Facey, if indeed he was not there, to assist in prosecuting a no mg argument? Have a go at Cpl Weatherill DCM of Talbot Smiths 10bn scouts who did land and described dismantling a TRIPOD mounted mg on MacLagans Ridge.

Are we to assume, given the use of Facey's words, that by implication our blokes are all fabricating?

A few people, including myself, think Facey and others deserve a bit better by going a few extra yards. I am glad you have too, although perhaps with different thinking to myself. I find myself now finding it hard to be definitive on Facey, but I will continue to search high and low for more info. That is only right and fair. My question is this - did the inclusion of Facey in Crunchys book enhance his argument? I think not .

Cheers

Ian

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Auimfo

Thanks Ian,

I completely understand about not being able to share the info. If it's someone else's research being used for a future publication, it would be exceedingly improper to make public.

To a point, I agree with you. There's no real way of ever being certain of the truth. While Facey's notes and book claim he took part in the landing, all the official records and associated circumstances would suggest he didn't. It's simply a matter of which to believe. You clearly side more with Facey while I tend to think the records etc. have more weight and believability. To me, the fact that not a single member of the 3rd reos was wounded or killed between 25/4 and 7/5 very strongly supports the belief that none of them actually landed prior to 7/5. But what is missing is the 'smoking gun' and I just don't think one exists that will ever conclusively prove either side of the debate.

As for it being used in Crunchy's book.....I sort of get it. Facey's is a well-known book and perhaps something readers could identify with, making Crunchy's point easier to follow and perhaps highlight that even regarded works can be in error. It makes people realise that not everything you read is necessarily the complete and accurate truth. I don't think he was implying that all the diarists or letter writers were lying, but that their recollections or inexperience may to some degree distort or exaggerate their memory of events.

Does this enhance or detract from the actual point of the argument - perhaps not. But it's a bit like using someone famous to advertise a product. That person doesn't make the product any better or worse but it certainly draws attention to what's being sold.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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gilly100

I recently viewed some letters written by Albert Facey in the mid to late 1960's when he resided in Midland just below the Darling scarp in Perth. This is corroborated in his allegedly concocted book. His handwriting and signature are remarkably similar to the already mentioned series of notebooks he penned from the mid 1930's whilst living in Tuart Hill, before moves to Wanneroo and Gosnells, Mundaring and finally Midland once retired. The letters give his address and are in reply to invitation to attend ceremonies at the Lesser Town Hall in Midland to commemorate the Gallipoli Landings. Facey declines some attendences due to his war attributed heart condition, as verified by his repat and DVA files previously mentioned in this thread.

He was also a member of the RSL for around ten years up to the end of WW2, when, on finding his son Barney had been killed in action in Feb 1942 fighting the Japanese, three years after being posted as missing, he appears to have given the RSL away.

I just can't see Albert Facey recounting his 25 April landing experience in the knowledge that others would be able to call him out if indeed he was not present. Still digging with more to surely follow.

Happy New Year to all

Ian

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gilly100

Gee whizz, there is even a blog online regarding Albert Facey, called A dishonest life. The blogger admits to having never read the book which kind of defeats the blog straight up. Put up some posts, but now cut off. Did invite to join the discussion here. Look forward to his input. Facey and his family deserve a bit better than this. Annoying actually. Still digging for Facey.

Ian

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Auimfo

Even though I don't believe Facey landed at Gallipoli on 25th April, I think it's far too harsh to label his story 'a dishonest life'. Perhaps a bit of poetic licence to embellish the story a bit, but that's hardly new among auto-biographers!!

Cheers,

Tim L.

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gilly100

An article written a few years ago by Dr James Hurst on Albert Facey mentions two 11Bn 2nd reos that are recorded in memoirs and a newspaper article as having landed on 25 April, despite their service records recording later TOS dates.

1432 Leslie Whiting is recorded as arriving at Anzac on 7 May and 1324 Charles Carter as 28 April.

Whiting was 4 times wounded during the war and survived to record his memoir and contribute news articles on his service. He mentions that Carter received his 3rd and fatal wound exactly 3 years after landing at Gallipoli, while fighting at Villers Brettoneux on 24/25 April 1918 with the 51st Bn. Whiting received his third wound fighting there also in the 51st. Whiting appears adamant that both he and his comrade, Carter, were indeed present on 25 April 1915.

Hurst rightly argues why would a battle scarred veteran lay claim to being at the Landing at the risk of being called out by his mates. A timely reminder that records administration was not always accurate.

If anyone has knowledge of any 2nd or 3rd reos of the other 3rd Brigade infantry battalions landing on 25 April, I would be interested to know. They were 9, 10 and 12 Bns. While I agree that these records are mostly accurate, it is clear that sometimes they were not.

Ian

Edited by gilly100

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gilly100

Hi All

Another aspect of Facey's book that can be challenged is his mention of joining up at Blackboy Hill Camp in either late September or early October 1914, on returning to Perth by ship from the eastern states where he was employed in a boxing troupe. His service records indicate he joined up on 4 January 1915. Facey claimed to have begun his basic training and while doing his musketry course at Swanbourne in late October, early November, he became ill and was hospitalised in an isolation ward at Fremantle Artillery Barracks, not getting out until after Christmas 1914, before returning to Blackboy Hill in early Jan 1915.

To me it appears Facey would have gone into a reinforcement company on joining, given those who had joined earlier in August and September had already made up the numbers for the original battalion, these men subsequently being issued a regimental number. Evidence in routine orders suggests that those put into the reo company were not issued a regimental number until they were put on strength of a particular reinforcement group, such as 1st, 2nd or 3rd reos, right on pre embarkation, or if they were posted to a particular company on the strength of original battalion prior to leaving Perth, which was late October 1914.

I have one man whose service number is 1601, Facey having 1536. The former's service file shows he joined on 20 Nov 1914, and yet another part of his records indicate his service reckoned from 6 January 1915. There are numerous men of 11Bn whose regimental numbers are well after Facey's, yet their join up dates are September and October 1914. No.1647 joined on 17 September 1914.

I have no reason to believe Facey fabricated such a story, rather I think his original paperwork was destroyed and new paperwork signed in early January 1915 which survived. Following hospitalisation in an isolation ward, I would think that he would have sat his medical again, prompting all new paperwork. Just a thought in defence of this mans reputation.

 

Ian

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Auimfo

The thing that bothers me Gilly, is that there seems to be quite a few 'explanations' required for why this or that didn't appear in Facey's records to justify his claim that he landed at Anzac on 25th April.  I'm not going to say it's impossible, but every time an absence of something in his records needs to be explained, it makes it more difficult to believe.  I've read his book a couple of times and while I enjoyed it, I've always thought his reminiscences (not just his Gallipoli experience) came across as a bit one-sided in his favour.  That's not an attempt to be critical but rather a personal feeling from the story that he was adding a bit of poetic licence to his tales to make it more enjoyable for his readers.  That, coupled with available records and the actual facts we can put together through research, leads me to strongly suspect that he didn't land on April 25th.  But that's just my opinion based on the facts we know as presented.

 

Cheers,

Tim L.

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gilly100

Hi Tim

And that's fine how you and others see it. I set out, knowing service records can be often date wrong, to see what could be found. I am still doing that now with Facey. With regard to using Facey as a means of prosecuting a no machine gun argument;  I found this a soft target and almost pointless, especially when you have others like Weatherill, Derham, Harrison and Thomas et al. Am sure you get my drift. Please someone explain these men away.

Having met the family and corrected several falsehoods regarding Facey and his work that were put out there,  I thought to just keep going and release from time to time.

Much of what I have found supports Facey being truthful and I have been open on what doesn't look right, whether by mistaken recollection or not.

For someone to have a poke that he stated the pyramids were built by dinosaurs was poor form, when Facey was merely recounting what he was told by another. It all adds to the story of his adventure overseas. When you really dig you learn new things, and I for one am not ready to give up on Albert Facey just yet.

One does not have to be an academic with degrees and what not to prosecute a search with vigour.

Cheers

Ian

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gilly100

Henry Lewis of the Otago Regiment NZEF had a very similar experience to Facey in July 1915. His description of being buried by shelling and the effects of it on him are exactly what Facey claimed after it happened to him.

"I caught a shell towards the end of July, and was buried in a trench, and dragged out by my feet. There were no visible signs of injury, but my back was hurt and I learned later that my heart had been affected in the explosion, and that I might only have six months to live.."

 

Ian

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gilly100
On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2015 at 00:25, Auimfo said:

Ian,

Could you share with us the names of these particular examples and provide a little more detail - i.e. which reinforcements group were they from? I'm interested to compare this against my own list as I've recently trawled through all the service records of the 2nd and 3rd reinforcements of the 11th Bn.

During my search I located 19 OR's who were TOS to the battalion in the days prior to the landing. Add to this number the handful of officers that were TOS along with them and you arrive at a figure of somewhere near the mid-20's. This figure is similar to that recorded in a number of contemporary and more recent sources (Including yours :thumbsup: ). There were also a significant number of others who were either seconded to the 'Beach Parties' or TOS of the battalion on 28/4/15. But significantly, all of these men were taken from the 2nd reinforcements.

All of the 3rd reinforcements, including Facey, were listed as having landed on or after 7th May (except two who TOS 28/4/15), and this is corroborated in the Unit Diary which mentions a large number of reinforcements arriving at that time.

But a most revealing fact is that of all the 3rd reinforcements, not one of them was recorded as wounded or killed prior to 7th May. It would seem probable that if a certain number of them actually did TOS early and took part in the landing, then there's a very good likelihood that at least one of them would be wounded or killed between then and the 7th May. But nope - not a single one.

Cheers,

Tim L.

P.S. - If you'd like the names of the '19', just let me know and I'll get them to you.

 

Hi All

 

Just to add to this yarn is the following which came to light just recently when another chap here in Perth was going through records of 11Bn men from the early reinforcement groups. It seems this man, one 1678 Pte WA Steeve of 3rd reos 11BN was indeed WIA on 25 April 1915 as per his service file, as well as wounded on 11 May. Two different wounds. According to his records he was TOS of D Coy 11Bn at Gallipoli on 7 May 1915, same company and date as Albert Facey.

 

Going further into his file reveals he joined under a false name and age, but was really one William Alfred Smith, who was 17 years old on enlistment, not 21 as declared.

He ended up deserting and was struck off in Feb 1918, although it seems he joined the RFC as an aircfraftsman. He forfeited his service medals.

 

Anyway, the point is, this banging on about 7 May as TOS date may well be true for some, but it was NOT for others, and I believe Albert Facey was not fabricating his landing date. This chaps record goes some way to assisting that argument.

 

Onya Albert, I am behind you.

 

Ian

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Auimfo

Very interesting Ian but I can't agree. 

 

The first entry on his B103 stated he'd been wounded but no date was supplied.  The very next entry made on 13/5/15 states STEEVE was hospitalised at Alexandria.  It was only months later on the 6/7/15 that a date notation was finally handwritten into the first entry stating that his wound occurred on 25/4/15.  But that then begs the question why it took three weeks for him to reach hospital in Alexandria - however it is consistent with him being wounded on 11/5/15 which is recorded on his statement of service earlier in his file.  

 

Additionally, there's no mention of him being wounded twice.  No where on the same document in his service file does it record two woundings occurring on the 25/4 and 11/5.  What you're actually reading is separate notations about the same wound recorded as occurring on two different dates.  It's a matter of determining which date is correct.

 

There are also several places in his file that confirm he was with the 3rd Reinforcements who joined the battalion on 7th May (a date that coincides with his wounding on 11th and hospitalisation on 13th).  

 

It seems to me that STEEVE/SMITH was only ever wounded the one time and that it occurred on the 11th May.  The earlier wounding date appears to have been added to his file a few months later and appears to be just a simple administrative error.

 

And so my point stands.  If any number of the 3rd Reinforcements had joined the battalion on 25/4/15, then it's almost certain that at least more than one of them would be confirmed as KIA or WIA between that date and 7/5/15.   I don't think this rather shaky evidence from STEEVE/SMITH's file is the smoking gun you're looking for.

 

Cheers,

Tim.

 

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