Serial No. 481
Mobile Veterinary Section
Albert Doust - Information
Albert’s grandfather, Joseph Doust, settled down on a property named Dundee Farm on Cawdor Road. The Dousts were to become a large family, with Joseph developing the family’s farming business. Albert, known as Bert, was born to Joseph Jr. and Charlotte Doust in Cawdor on the 7th of September 1886. Bert grew up on the family property with his many siblings. Sadly, he and his siblings would loose both parents when they were quite young. Charlotte passed away in 1895 and Joseph in 1898, Bert was only 12 when he became an orphan. The children were raised by family members. Bert was residing on Broughton Rd in Camden and working as a farmer, when he discovered that he had an affinity for working with animals. He then decided to join the war effort, enlisting in Liverpool on the 15th of March 1915, at the age of 28. He was posted as a Private to the Mobile Veterinary Section. He then embarked Sydney Harbour on the HMAT Marere on the 16th of August 1915.
Albert disembarked in Egypt, and was mustered at Details Camp in Cairo in late September. His unit was responsible for the health and well being of the horses and mules needed for operations. Sorrowfully, war service would claim the lives of many animals. He was promoted Corporal in February 1916, and was sent to the Western Front in France the following month. On the 27th of November, he was appointed Temporary Sergeant and was attached for duty with the 1st Field Artillery Brigade. Artillery units used horses and mules to transport cannons and ammunition for operations. Sadly, this exposed these animals to mud sucking battlefields and shellfire. Albert worked tirelessly to take care of these poor creatures. On the 7th of July 1917, he accidentally injured himself while dressing wounded horses in the field, developing a hernia. Later in the year, Bert received a Christmas gift package from the Gift Committee in Camden. He wrote a thankyou letter which was published in the newspaper. “I was very pleased yesterday at receiving a parcel…it is nice to receive anything from Australia, it lets us know we are not forgotten by the best country in the world.” At the close of December 1918, he was transferred back to the 1st Mobile Veterinary Section. In 1919, he was transported back to England for his return home to Australia. He reached Sydney around May, and was discharged from military service in July.
Bert returned to his civilian life in Camden. He married his sweetheart, Annie Dorothy Wheeler at St Johns in Camden on St Valentines Day, the 14th of February 1920. Bert continued to work with animals. He spent 56 years undertaking veterinary work in the Camden area. He then passed away in Yass on the 28th of September 1972, aged 86.