Edward George Chamberlain

First Name: 
Edward
Middle Name: 
George
Last Name: 
Chamberlain
Date of Birth: 
Tuesday, April 18, 1893
Father's Name: 
Arthur E Chamberlain
Date Enlisted: 
Monday, August 28, 1916
Rank at Enlistment: 
2nd Lieutenant
Rank at Discharge: 
Lieutenant
Unit: 
Special Draft A.I.F Officers
Service: 
Australian Flying Corps
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Sunday, May 30, 1954
Place of Death: 
Bulli Hospital
Details: 

Edward George Chamberlain was born on 18 April, 1893 in Richmond, Victoria. He was living in Woonona with his family during the time of his enlistment.

Chamberlain embarked from Melbourne, Victoria on 7 March 1918 on the ship: R.M.S “Ormonde.”

A story was shared by his son at the Thirroul scan and share day (June 16, 2013):

 

At some point of the excursion, they had approached a religious building of some sort and the officer accompanying my father had approached the building’s gate in hope of passing through. The Sister who had come to the gate to answer the bell did not speak English and dismissively waved him away. He called out after the Sister and showed her something he was wearing around his neck on a gold chain. The Sister grabbed the item around the officer’s neck and and seemed to be worshipping it. As they rode along, my father enquired:

“What was all that business about what you have around your neck about?”

His companion replied,

“That is a piece of the original Cross. As long as I am wearing it, no harm can befall me.”

Sometime later, the Officer’s camel shied at a wind-caught piece of paper and he took a heavy tumble.

“Little wooden Jesus wasn’t much help that time,” remarked my father.

His companion just laughed,

“It does not protect me for small matters.”

As a member of the 14th Battalion, they landed in France in September 1918.

They slept on the ground in the open on their first night at the front. The next morning, their hair was so stiff with frost that they could snap the hairs off but they were so tough after training in Egypt that nothing worried them.

Shelling started at day-break; the officer from the photograph caught a huge German shell all to himself. They had nothing to bury. He must have been wearing his protective cross when he was vaporised as it was not found among his kit.

According to the Australian War Memorial, during his service, Chamberlain served in a number of different roles including:  Australian Flying Corps - 1 Reinforcements. Special Draft, AIF Officers. Special Draft, Royal Military College Graduates. Clerks. Staff in Charge Jugo-Slavs [Yugoslavs]. Staff in Charge Italian Reservists. (August 1915 - September 1918).

The Illawarra Historical Society and the Bulli Black Diamond Heritage Museum hold records of Edward George Chamberlain.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, CHAMBERLAIN E G
AWM, First Embarkation Rolls- Edward George Chamberlain , Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1981413/, viewed 9 October 2013.

Images

Scan of newspaper clipping of Edward Chamberlain's death notice.
Sepia photograph of Chamberlain and female companion.
Image depicts Chamberlain on a camel with sphinx and pyramids as backdrop.
Book cover reads: The Overseas Soldier's Guide to London
Sepia photograph of Edward George Chamberlain in Columbo, the washing place
Black and white portrait of Edward Chamberlain
Text on album cover says: From Duntroon to D-- Near Dinkum
Text on image says: George Chamberlain Moulin Huet
Text on image says: the Huns finished with the bridge
Scan of photograph of Perrone rail bridge.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.