Saturday, 25 April 2015

ANZAC Herbert Frederick Slocombe

Lieutenant Herbert Frederick Slocombe was the son-in-law of Walter William James. Bert's intriguing life story has many chapters. It seems that the more he risked, the more he was able to risk and his war service exemplifies this.
[2 February 1916] Studio portrait of 1360 Sergeant Major (Sgt Maj) Herbert Frederick (Bert) Slocombe, 4th Divisional Ammunition Sub-Park, Australian Army Service Corps, of Auburn, NSW. Slocombe is wearing an unusual modified flying motorcycle jacket and modified flying helmet. There are sergeant's stripes on the right sleeve. He is dressed for motorcycling and he was possibly in the 5th Division Supply Column at this stage. Sgt Maj Slocombe was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 24 January 1918 for his actions in July 1917 at Vlamertinghe Belgium. Slocombe served as a Lieutenant, service number N60391, with the 6th Reserve Motor Transport Company in the Second World War. [AWM P04695.001]

The All-Australia Memorial
The original Digger and the 1929 Model, Liverpool Camp 1929
[Bert Slocombe and Jack Marsh]
The Australian War Memorial commented that receiving a Military Cross for diving on top of an ammunition dump to prevent further loss was rare and probably unparalleled recognition.

Bert relished the ANZAC Day marches, and made sure he was the centre of attention wherever possible, in both Sydney and later on at Cowra. Over the years this caused some amusement and concern.
Bert at right

Bert spent his formative years in both Melbourne and Sydney. Auburn Public School provided a fitting testament to his contribution.
At Auburn Public School

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