17 Frederick William Pantlin was nearly 50 years old when he enlisted.
Frederick had served in the Boer War, he was an engineer skilled in the use of explosives, especially for demolition, however he was posted as a Staff-Sergeant with the NSW Army Medical Corp, who had recruited men with a wide range of skills like Frederick, and considered they were quick to learn the medical skills required.
When Frederick was recruited for the Boer War he was sadly a widower with three young children, Harold, Victor and Amy. His wife Amy Mary nee Richardson had died in 1894.
After the Boer war Frederick had been a resident at the Old Rifle Range at Moore Park, secretary of the “Corps of Australian Engineers Rifle Club”and still considered a career soldier and instructor with the Royal Australian Engineers.
Frederick enlisted with the 1st FCE and was appointed Warrant Officer CSM – Company Sergeant Major and was the oldest non-commissioned member of the company. At nearly 50 years of age Frederick and W.O he had the opportunity to pass on his experiences and his unique skills to his fellow engineers as well as command.
Frederick was on active service at Gallipoli and made numerous trips back and forth from Alexandria to Gallipoli up to July 1915 and was later transferred to duty with the 5th FCE in Egypt and later the 8th FCE.
Frederick was later admitted sick to hospital in April 1916 and with what was unfortunately called a “rodent ulcer” or known today as skin cancer.
He was shortly after this discharged from the AIF, considered “over age” and was respectfully transferred to services back in Australia in August 1916 and returned to duty with the R.A.E in Australia.
When Frederick returned to Australia his eldest son Victor Thomas Pantlin would later enlist in the “Special Draft” AIF in 1917. His youngest son Harold Leslie Pantlin had already been a member of the Australian Naval Force since 1910 as a chief stoker.
Frederick’s story is far from your typical ANZAC story, he was a single father with 3 children, 50 years of age , who 15 years before the Gallipoli campaign had been to war in South Africa, returned back to his normal life in Australia and would live to a grand old age with his family by his side.
Frederick William Pantlin died in 1952 in Bankstown Sydney a retired military officer he was 87.
His family notice in the Sydney Morning Herald reads as follows…
PANTLIN, Frederick William. – October 12, 1952 of Canterbury Hospital and of 29 Taylor Street Bankstown, late 1st Div Engineer
(1st A I F Anzac) loved father of Victor, Harold and Amy, father-in-
law of Jane and fond grandfather of Ken and Bill, aged 87 years. Privately cremated at Rookwood, October 14, 1952.
Story copyright© VanceKelly2015
The following are some additional details of Boer War history relating to 321 Frederick Pantlin. …..It is possible he is in the photo below ? – source : Boer War Memorial Organisation
NSW MEDICAL TEAM – Second Contingent
• Original strength: 108 including 14 nurses
• Subunits: field hospital and half stretcher bearer company
• Commanding officer: Lieutenant-Colonel R. V. Kelly, Lady Superintendent E. J. Gould (nurses)
• Left for South Africa: 17 January 1900 on Moravian
• Service: February – December 1900 in Cape Colony, Free State and Transvaal
• Fatal casualties: none killed or died of wounds, two died of disease
• Decorations: one VC (N. R. Howse, for rescuing wounded soldier 24 July 1900), two CBs (Kelly, Major W. L. Eames), one DSO (A. H. Horsfall), one RRC (E. Nixon), possibly also one DCM
• Returned to Australia: 8 December 1900 on Harlech Castle, 8 January 1901 on Orient
• Useful sources: T. Kelly diary (Australian war Memorial, 3DRL/7545), chapters by medical personnel in Barton Story of South Africa vol. 2 (c. 1902)
AWM, NLA , NAA , National Boer War Memorial Association of NSW, http://www.bwm.org.au
1.Direct descendants have been noted through Ancestry.com