Buried alive and saved by his mates

 

 

167 - Albert James Currie - MM (Photo courtesy of Beverly Prior Collection)
167 – Albert James Currie – MM (Photo courtesy of Beverly Prior Collection)
1st Battle Passchendaele  AWM E01200
Passchendaele  – 1st Battle 1917

 

On the 4th of October 1917 the 1st FCE helped to capture Passchendaele Ridge. They followed the second wave of the Infantry and when the ridge was captured the company proceeded to consolidate the position by forming a strong point.

At 1.30 in the afternoon a German aeroplane came over at a low altitude and had spied their position and turned back to inform the German batteries. The German batteries then opened fire and sent a salve into the company’s position on the ridge, a barrage of heavy shelling that lasted for the remainder of the day, ultimately at great cost to the “original” sappers and many others.

 

“……. I was wounded and buried alive as a shell exploded and the trench was blown upon us,…. but I was rescued before I was smothered”…. 167 Albert Currie

 

Albert’s  good mates 66 Norman Masters and  99 John Jackson were by his side at the Ypres stunt and helped dig him out.  Due to the quick actions of Masters and Jackson,  Albert Currie was lucky enough not to be killed.

The 4th October 1917 was a day the “originals” would suffer their greatest losses since Gallipoli.

Three “original” sappers were killed on this day , 32 James Claude Nicholls, 119 William “Billy” Pitt, and 190 Jack Raymond Hollingworth.

It would also be a day remembered for their  “Bravery In The Field” and six “originals” received the  Military Medal,….. Albert was one of them.

167 Albert James CURRIE – MM

WW1 - Military Medal - For Bravery In the Field
WW1 – Military Medal – “For Bravery In the Field”

 

His personal story is available to read …….More about Albert  Currie – MM  –  Link to his page .

 

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AEDT – Brightlingsea – Centenary

 

 Image courtesy – Brightlingsea Museum

The Australian Engineers Training Depot (AETD) was established in Brightlingsea, Essex England in 1916 and during  the second half of World War I, thousands of Australian’s and many  of the New Zealand troops spent time in Brightlingsea, many learning the skills of the ‘sapper’ in conditions made to mimic those on the western front.

A few of the ‘originals’ from the 1st Field Company  Engineers had spent time both training and teaching new reinforcements in order to attain their commission whilst stationed at Brightlingsea.

For 100 years Brightlingsea  has maintained this connection to the ANZAC’S and particularly its interest in the Engineering Corp.

2016 is the year that the Brightlingsea Museum has organised a centenary remembrance of the ANZAC and particularly its interest in the Engineers and tracing serviceman who married while stationed in Brightlingsea and later whisked their wives off to Australia.

Three “originals” did in fact get married whilst in England and transfered to the AETD.

Sappers 103 Archie Leslie Ogilvy , 140 Ernest Charles Tubbenhauer and 153 Philip James Charmichael, each of them married while in England.  Although their wives were not native to Brightlingsea, the war records indicate a connection with Brightlingsea, each of them living there while their new husbands were at the AETD.

All three men would return home to Australia after the war, with their brides.

 

The Museum is conducting a wonderful event “Brightlingsea ANZAC Centenary weekend 17th, 18th & 19th June 2016.”

 

Links to the Museum and the centenary events and the  BBC story are below….

http://www.brightlingseamuseum.com/articles.html

https://brightlingseaanzaccentenary.org/2016/03/18/world-war-one-open-day-at-brightlingsea-museum-2/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01x211v

Sources and images : Courtesy Brightlingsea Museum