Friday, 14 September 2018

R J Campbell 6477

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

Reginald Joseph CAMPBELL

Service number: 6477.  Age: 19 years 9 months.  Enlisted: 11 Apr 1918.
Occupation: Seaman.  Next of kin: (mother) Mrs Clara Campbell.
Address on enlistment:  Toorbul Point.

The quarterdeck of HMAS Brisbane covered with snow
while in Portsmouth Dockyard on 29 Mar 1919.[1]
Service Summary:
11 Apr 1918: Cerberus (naval training).
8 May 1918: HMAS Brisbane.
12 Jul 1919: Demobilized.

Service Details:
During Reginald Campbell’s service, HMAS Brisbane served in Australian waters, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, United Kingdom and Malaya on operational service and part tropical service.[2]

HMAS Brisbane (1) history from May 1918 to Jul 1919:
“From February to October 1918 Brisbane served in Australian waters on patrol duties due to the fear that more German raiders would be sent to the Pacific Ocean.

On 21 Oct 1918 Brisbane departed Sydney for England and was at sea enroute from Colombo to Aden when the Armistice of 11 Nov 1918 ended hostilities in the First World War. She reached Mudros, on Lemnos Island, on 26 Nov 1918 and spent a month operating with the Australian Destroyer Flotilla in the Eastern Mediterranean. Sadly two of her sailors (Stoker 2nd Class JF Godier and Able Seaman TJ Chitts) died from Spanish influenza on 2 Dec 1918 and were buried ashore at East Mudros Military Cemetery.

Brisbane sailed through the Dardanelles, to the Sea of Marmara, and then entered the Black Sea where she became part of British force that operated off Sebastopol and Smyrna; as a show of force to support White Russian forces engaged in fighting the Bolsheviks. In early 1919, Brisbane steamed to England and in late January commenced a refit, at Portsmouth dockyard which lasted three months.

Captain Walter Thring, RAN took command of Brisbane on 7 Apr 1919 and she sailed from Portsmouth for Australia on 17 Apr, via Malta, Port Said, Aden, Colombo, Singapore and Darwin. Earlier in the year the British Admiralty had presented to Australia six J-Class submarines. Escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Sydney and the submarine depot ship HMAS Platypus, the submarines had left Portsmouth for Australia earlier in the month. Later Sydney detached enroute and Brisbane assumed responsibility for the escort of HMA Submarine J5 and towed her for some of the voyage to Sydney. Proceeding ahead of Platypus and the other submarines, Brisbane and J5 arrived at Sydney on 27 Jun 1919.”[3]

Life Summary:
Reginald Campbell (1898-1972) was the second son of Joseph Campbell[4] (1871-1954) and Clara Elizabeth Payne (1874-1927) and was born 13 Jul 1898 in Brisbane. The Campbell family had lived at Toorbul Point from the early 1900s and Reg and his siblings had attended the Toorbul Point provisional school.  After his World War One naval service, Reginald Campbell was a seaman aboard the excursion steamship Koopa which travelled between Brisbane, Redcliffe and Bribie Island.

Reginald Campbell in S.S. Koopa uniform, 1920s [5]

Reginald Campbell married Vera Huet in 1933 and the couple resided on Bribie Island for the rest of their lives making their livelihood from their Campbell’s Cash Store and boat hire business on South Esplanade. The creek that ran beside their business was known as Campbell’s Creek (now known as Williams Creek) and the bridge over this creek was known as Campbell Bridge, South Esplanade.

      Campbell’s General Cash Store on the front verandah of their home Revehame[6]

Campbell’s boat shed on the beach at 
South Esplanade, adjacent to their home.[7] 

Reginald Campbell, aged 74, died in 1972 at Bribie Island and has a memorial at the Albany Creek Memorial Park.

[1] Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial J03228
[2] Source: NAA BP709/1 M35756 Service record 6477 Reginald Joseph Campbell
[3] Source: Royal Australian Navy HMAS Brisbane (1)
[4] Joseph Campbell’s ancestors were Aboriginal people from Moreton Bay.
[5] Source:, ID 1066cmd, accessed 9 Feb 2014.
[6] Source: Bribie Island Historical Society VC8_134 Vera Campbell’s photo album / Ted Clayton collection
[7] Source: Bribie Island Historical Society VC8_135 Vera Campbell’s photo album / Ted Clayton collection

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