David Warwick (Service No. 2680)
(1891 - 1978)

David Warwick was born in Annan Dumfries-shire, Scotland in September 1891. The 1891 Scotland census notes David living with his mother (Jane or Jessie Warwick) and sister at his uncle’s, his father’s brother, home. We are unsure of the whereabouts of his paternal father. On his enlistment form, in 1915, he notes his mother’s details as Mrs J Teasdale of Scotland which might indicate that she had remarried by this date. The Scotland census of 1901 shows Jessie Teasdale living with her husband, Thomas, and notes David as Thomas’ stepson. From this date until the time of his departure, from London we know little of his whereabouts. We know that he boarded the steamship ‘SS Ballarat’ on 13 June 1913 and he arrived in Melbourne in December 1913. By 1914 David Warwick was listed on the Victorian electoral roll residing at Duncan’s Road Werribee and working there as a ploughman, the same occupation he noted on the ship passenger list in 1913. It is believed that he worked across several properties in both Werribee and Laverton.

David enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 14 June 1915 and undertook his training at the Seymour training camp where he was appointed to the 8th Reinforcements of the 7th Infantry Battalion with the rank of private. On 26 August 1915, Private David Warwick embarked onboard HMAT A68 Anchises at the port of Melbourne with the 8th Reinforcements bound for Egypt. It was at this time that David Warwick was included in the roll of honour published within the Werribee Shire Banner.

After a short time in Egypt he joined the 7th Battalion at the Sarpi Camp, on the island of Lemnos, on 20 November 1915 one of 115 reinforcements who arrived on that day. On 25 November 1915 the 7th Battalion embarked to Anzac Cove.  They arrived the following day and bivouacked in a large valley known as Shrapnel Gully. The men of the 7th battalion were then employed on fatigue duty until 11 December 1915 when they took over the trenches at a location known as Silt Spur. There they remained in the lines until the withdrawal from Anzac Cove nine days later.

As they left Anzac cove, they left six rifles behind with automatic attachments that would discharge at intervals of up to 30 minutes. This was a ploy used to fool the enemy in thinking that some troops had remained and not all had departed. Records show that all the troops were evacuated and that they arrived safely back on Lemnos.

The men of 7th Battalion transferred to a camp at Tel el Kebir, located south of Port Said and north of Cairo, where they continued training under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Harold Edward (Pompey) Elliott. Three months later, on 26 March 1916, the battalion embarked at Alexandria aboard HMT Megantic to join the Forces in France, the battalion disembarked at Marseilles on 31 March 1916.

Their first major action, on the Western Front, was at Pozières in the Somme Valley in July-August 1916. On 30 October 1916 Private Warwick was ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ for participating in a very successful raid on the enemy’s ‘Switch and Gap’ trenches that took place on 30 September 1916. The 7th Battalion then fought in the Battle at Menin Road on 20 September 1917 and at Broodseinde on 4 October 1917.

On 27 May 1918 Private Warwick was appointed to the rank of driver to fill a gap left by another member either being wounded or killed. This was by no means an easy job because, as a driver, a soldier was required to drive the team of horses pulling the gun or ammunition wagon up to the front line.

By 3 July 1918 the battalion were part of the new advance against the German troops however Driver Warwick was admitted to hospital with a minor illness.  He was able to join his battalion again by 13 July 1918 and they continued operations on the front until late September 1918. Two months later the end of the conflict was declared, and the fighting ceased.

Driver David Warwick marched out with his unit on 25 January 1919 to begin his return home to Australia via England.  On 28 March 1919 he embarked at Southampton bound for Australia aboard the SS City of Poona. David disembarked at Melbourne on 14 May 1919 and was discharged from service in Melbourne on 6 July 1919.

David Warwick was welcomed home, in Laverton, with others and his name was to be included on the Laverton honour board that was commissioned in 1922. However, somewhere in the process of transferring the names for the roll of honour (Werribee Shire Banner) to the honour board David’s surname was recorded as Harwick and not Warwick. But we can assure that this is to record David Warwick as a resident of the district that enlisted in World War 1.

Within a year of his return David Warwick had married, in 1920, to Emma Beatrice Harris and shortly after they moved out of the district to live in Alexander Street Footscray. The couple had two children, a daughter, Lily, and son, Ronald David. David Warwick was no longer working on the land but was now working as a driver. The Warwick’s remained in the Footscray and Yarraville area up until 1949 when the couple moved to live in the Warragul area for about ten years before moving back to the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine by 1960.

It was during this time that their daughter passed away Lily Webb (nee Warwick) in 1958. In 1963, David and Emma eventually retired to Marnoo Street in Sunshine where they lived until Emma Warwick, passed away on 13 July 1970. She is interred within the Footscray cemetery along with their daughter Lily. David Warwick passed on 22 June 1978 aged 85. He was cremated at the Fawkner Memorial Park.


  1. https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=314559
  2. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8375291
  3. 1901 Scottish Census
  4. Werribee Shire Banner, Roll of Honor, 29 July 1915, p.3.
  5. ancestry.com.au
  6. Australian War Memorial – awm.gov.au

Research by: Graeme Reilly (ALHS)