back­story1916

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - TIME OUT - Myles Sin­na­mon

The Great War casts a long shadow over the descen­dants of all who served. My great un­cle, Archibald Wil­fred Sin­na­mon ( pic­tured ), known to fam­ily and friends as Archie, was one who an­swered the call. And like so many of those young men, his tale is not par­tic­u­larly heroic but some­what mun­dane and trag­i­cally brief. Yet I con­sider it as wor­thy of re­mem­brance as ev­ery other sol­dier’s stor y.

Archie, born in 1894, was one of eight chil­dren living on the fam­ily dairy farm, Char­mana, near Jack­son, 100km west of Chin­chilla on the War­rego High­way, with his par­ents, John and Alice. On March 21, 1915, Archie fol­lowed in the foot­steps of his older brother, Wal­ter, who had en­listed two months ear­lier. Archie’s ser­vice record, like those of many oth­ers, has been digitised and made avail­able on­line by the Na­tional Ar­chives.

On en­list­ment in Toowoomba, he was given a clean bill of health by the ex­am­in­ing med­i­cal of­fi­cer with an an­no­ta­tion, “re­quires den­tal at­ten­tion”.

On Septem­ber 19, 1916, Pri­vate Sin­na­mon de­parted Bris­bane. He ar­rived in Ply­mouth, Eng­land, on De­cem­ber 9 and was despatched to the 8th Train­ing Bat­tal­ion in Hur­d­cott, Sal­is­bury in county Wilt­shire. On New Year’s Eve he was con­veyed to a mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal suf­fer­ing from in­fluenza. Af­ter train­ing, Archie pro­ceeded to France with the 31st In­fantry Bat­tal­ion on Fe­bru­ary 28, 1917.

Sadly his cam­paign was a short one, with the young Pri­vate killed in ac­tion in the Battle of Poly­gon Wood, Bel­gium, on Septem­ber 29. 1917. For­tu­nately for the fam­ily, Wal­ter sur­vived the war, though he was wounded twice in battle in­clud­ing get­ting shot in the chest.

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