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.