Friday, 14 September 2018

E H Freeman 2987

The following entry is from They Answered The Call.  Click here for the contents page.

Edward Henry FREEMAN

Service number: 2987.  Age: 20 years 8 months.  Enlisted: 7 Sep 1916.

Occupation: Fisherman.  Next of kin: (mother) Mrs Janet Freeman.
Address on enlistment: Toorbul.

 E.H. Freeman [1]

Service Summary:
16 Oct 1916: 11 Depot Battalion.
19 Oct 1916: 5 reinforcement 41 Battalion.
25 Oct 1916: 7 reinforcement 47 Battalion.
29 Jan 1917: Embarked from Fremantle on HMAT A28 Miltiades.
21 Aug 1917: Taken on strength 11 Infantry Battalion.

“The 11th battalion helped to stop the German spring offensive in March and April 1918, and later that year participated in the great Allied offensive launched east of Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as ‘the black day of the German Army in this war’.

The 11th Battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. This armistice was followed by a peace treaty, signed at Versailles on 28 June 1919.

In November 1918 members of the AIF began to return to Australia. In February 1919, the 11th and 12th Battalions were amalgamated due to steadily declining numbers in both battalions. They remained so linked until their last members returned home for demobilisation and discharge”.[2]

20 Sep 1918: 5 Machine Gun Battalion.
5 Jul 1919: Returned to Australia from London per HT Port Melbourne.
20 Aug 1919: Discharged.

Life Summary:
Edward Henry Freeman (1896-1957) was the second son of Edward Henry Freeman Snr (1863-1940) and Janet McAllister McGill (1864-1935) and was born 13 Feb 1896 on Bribie Island. His elder brother William Freeman [2809] also enlisted. Several generations of the Freeman family had lived in the Toorbul / Bribie Island area since the 1860s and below is a photo showing the family homes.

Freeman family of Ningi Creek, Toorbul, circa 1880s. [3]

After his service Edward Freeman moved to Fremantle, Western Australia and married Doris Ethel May Donnelly on 19 Mar 1920 and continued his occupation as a fisherman. After a workplace accident in Fremantle his left leg was amputated below the knee.

Family home of Edward Freeman, possibly on Bribie Island, circa 1920s. [4]

Edward Freeman, aged 61, died 7 May 1957 at Fremantle and was buried at Fremantle Cemetery.

[1] Source: The Queenslander 28 Jul 1917, pictorial supplement p. 27.
[2] Australian War Memorial 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
[3] Photo from Sunshine Coast Libraries, Picture Sunshine Coast Collection: BRN 349684
[4] Photo courtesy of Lynda Sach (W.A.) whose husband’s grandparents were Edward and Doris Freeman.

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