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….
Sources and images : Courtesy Brightlingsea Museum