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

David Warwick was born in Annan Dumfries-shire Scotland in 1891 to James Warwick and Jane (Jessie) Warwick nee Teasdale. It appears that David’s father passed away within a year of David’s birth and from the 1901 Scottish Census and his enlistment record that his mother used her preferred name of Jessie and had reverted to her maiden name of Teasdale.

It is not clear when David migrated to Australia or in which State he disembarked but by 1914 David Warwick was listed on the Victorian electoral roll residing at Duncan’s Road Werribee and working there as a ploughman. It is believed that he worked across a number of properties in both Werribee and Laverton.

David Warwick enlisted in the AIF on 14 June 1915 and following the completion his initial training at Seymour he was appointed to the 8th Reinforcements for the 7th Battalion. On 26 August 1915 Private David Warwick embarked at Melbourne onboard HMAT A68 Anchises with 8th Reinforcements for the 7th Infantry Battalion.

After travelling to Egypt he joined the 7th Battalion at Sarpi Camp at Lemnos on 20 November 1915 one of 115 reinforcements who arrived on that day. On 25 November 1915 the 7th Battalion embarked onboard SS El-Kahid and sailed to Anzac Cove.  They arrived on the following day and bivouacked in Shrapnel Gully. The battalion were employed on fatigue duty until 11 December 1915 when they took over the trenches at Silt Spur.  They remained in the lines until the withdrawal from Anzac on 20 December.

They had left six rifles behind with automatic attachments that would discharge at intervals of up to 30 minutes after they had departed. This was a ploy used to fool the enemy in thinking that some troops had remained. Records show that all of the troops were evacuated safely and they disembarked at Lemnos.

The 7th Battalion then went into camp at Tel el Kebir where they continued training under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Harold Edward (Pompey) Elliott. Three months later the battalion embarked at Alexandria on 26 March 1916 aboard HMAT Megantic to join the British Expeditionary Forces in France disembarking at Marseilles on 31 March 1916.

The battalions 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.

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 as a driver after a vacancy had become available. This was by no means an easy job because as a driver a soldier was required to drive the team of horses pulling the guns or ammunition wagons up to the front line. By 3 July 1918 the battalion were part of the advance against the German troops when Driver Warwick was admitted to hospital with a minor illness.  He was able to rejoin his battalion by 13 July 1918 and they continued operations on the western front until late September 1918.

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

Within a year of his return David married Emma Beatrice Harris (1920) and within two years they were living in Alexander Street Footscray with their daughter and son. David was now working as a driver but certainly safer than his appointment as a driver in WWI. They remained in the Footscray area up until the mid-1930’s when they moved to Yarraville but moved to Footscray South in around 1949.

David and Emma eventually retired to Marnoo Street in Sunshine around 1963 where he remained until his death in June 1978 aged 85.

References:

  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)