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Corporal Rupert James WHITE - 3496 - 45 Battalion AIF - 1914 - 1918

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At the age of 20 years Rupert James WHITE enlisted in the First AIF for service during World War 1 and his war record is very impressive. I obtained his service record from the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. His record states that he served with distinction in France.

Rupert WHITE joined the AIF on 4 August 1915, at Warwick Farm, Sydney NSW, his service number was 3496.He was 5′7¼″ tall, weighed 134 pounds, measured 35½″ around the chest, he was of a ruddy complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and he was a Roman Catholic.
He embarked at Sydney on the troopship "Port Lincoln" on 14 October, 1915, and on the 6 March, 1916 was aken on with the 45th Battalion. He was wounded in action on the 31 August 1916 and on the 5th September, 1916 he embarked on the Hospital Ship "David" at Boulogne bound for England with a gun shot wound to his left arm and admitted to the Army Hospital at Grantham in England on 6 September 1916.

On the 23 March 1917 he was transferred to the 61st Battalion at Wareham, England and was then, on the same date, taken on strength to the 45th Battalion and returned to France for active duty. Between the dates of 1st May 1917 to 18th September 1917 and 19th September 1917 to 4th April 1917 he was promoted from Private to Driver between the 61st and 45th Battalions. Again on the 5 April 1918 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal, 45th Battalion to replace Corporal R. W GEORGE who had been killed in action. On the 6th April 1918 Corporal Rupert WHITE was awarded the Military Medal for heroism in action against the Germans.

On the 4th August 1918, he was taken sick to the Army Field Hospital in France with Cellulitis to the left arm, and on the 10th August, 1918 invalided to London General Hospital at Lambeth, England, he had developed pneumonic influenza during October 1918.

Here are the circumstances of which Corporal Rupert James White, of the 45th Battalion AIF was recommended for the Military Medal.

" For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack near DERNAHCOURT RIDGE on 5th April, 1918. When his officer was killed and all other NCOs were out of action he took charge of the platoon, rallied the men and led them to the attack. Although wounded in the shoulder he carried on and consolidated his platoon position. At nightfall he, in company with L/Corp RITCHIE went forward and located the position of the enemy so successfully and brought back such information he enabled his company commander to make his defensive position secure where it might have been dangerously weak".
Signed by R. G. Sinclair MACLAGAN, Major General, Commanding 4th Australian Division.

Military Medal

Military Medal Awarded to Rupert WHITE

On the 10th January, 1919 Corporal Rupert James WHITE was transferred to 3Rd Aux. Hospital with "Cellulitis" to the left Arm. and embarked back to Australia aboard the Troopship "Derbyshire" departing England 2 March 1919, arriving Australia 24 April 1919 where he was discharged from the Army on 17 June 1919.

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Battle History of 45th Battalion AIF 1916 - 1919

The 45th Battalion was raised in Egypt on 2 March 1916 as part of the "doubling" of the AIF. Approximately half of its new recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 13th Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia. Reflecting the composition of the 13th, the new battalion was composed mostly of men from New South Wales.

As part of the 12th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division, the 45th Battalion arrived in France on 8 June 1916, destined for the Western Front. It fought in its first major battle at Pozieres in August, defending ground previously captured by the 2nd Australian Division. After Pozieres the battalion spent the period until March 1917 alternating between duty in the trenches and training and rest behind the lines, first around Ypres in Belgium, and then in the Somme Valley in France.

The 45th Battalion was in reserve for the 4th Division's first major action of 1917 - the first battle of Bullecourt and was not committed to the attack. It was, however, heavily engaged during the battle of Messines in June, and suffered commensurate casualties. The focus of the AIF's operations had now switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium and the 45th took part in another major battle near Passchendaele on October 12. Conditions were horrendous and the operation was hastily planned - thus it resulted in failure.

Like most AIF battalions, the 45th rotated in and out of the front line throughout the winter of 1917-18. In the spring of 1918 it played a crucial role in turning the last great German offensive of the war when it defeated attacks aimed at breaking through the British front around Dernancourt.

The Allies launched their own offensive on 8 August with the battle of Amiens. On the first day of this battle the 45th Battalion captured 400 German prisoners, 30 artillery pieces and 18 machine guns. 8 August became known as the "black day of the German Army" and initiated a retreat back to the formidable defensive barrier known as the Hindenburg Line. The 45th Battalion fought its last major action of the war on 18 September 1918 around Le Verguier to seize the "outpost line" that guarded the approaches to the main defences. The battalion was out of the line when the war ended on 11 November, and was disbanded on 2 May 1919.

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Attestation Paper

Taking the Oath

Medical Exam

Statement of Service 1

Statement of Service 2

Statement of Service 3

Attestation Paper 2

Medical Exam 2

Statement of Service 3

War Gratuity Schedule

Gratutity Schedule 2


Dental Chart

Base Records Enquiry

Service and Casualty 1

Service and Casualty 2

Active Service 1

Active Service 2

Active Service 3

Active Service 4

Award Military Medal

Grantham Hospital

Medical Report Invalid

Medical Report Invalid 2

Medical Report Invalid 3

Returned Derbyshire

Medical Record

Table 11 Auxilary Hospital

War History Index

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