Albert Victor Chivers
Private/Warrant Officer Class I
Serial No. 2611
Albert Victor Chivers - Information
Albert was a son of Thomas Henry and Sarah Lee Chivers. The Chivers originally resided in Marrickville, where Thomas and Sarah married in 1895. There, they commenced their family, including Albert, born on the 16th of June 1897. The Chivers eventually moved to the Ingleburn area, becoming prominent members of the community. Thomas began farming on the property of Dunrobin on Sackville St in Ingleburn. Thomas also served as a Town Alderman and was Mayor of Ingleburn for some time. Albert grew up with his many siblings, sadly loosing a younger brother and sister in the early 1900s. When Albert was older, he completed a 5 year apprenticeship with S. F. Leigh Co. Ltd. in Sydney and became a printer. Just after he turned 18, he decided to join in on the great adventure. He enlisted in the AIF on the 30th of July 1915 in Warwick Farm. During training, he was assigned to the 6th Reinforcements, 20th Battalion as a Private. He was then shipped overseas upon the HMAT Euripides, which departed Sydney on the 2nd of November 1915.
Albert landed in Egypt, and was later transferred to the 56th Battalion at Zeitoun in mid February 1916. In June, he was shipped to France from Alexandria with his new unit. When he arrived, Albert witnessed the horrors of the trenches, fighting in the terrifying Battle of Fromelles on the 19th of July. He then attended a School of Instruction in mid October. He returned to the 56th Battalion in late November. At the time, the men on the Western Front were experiencing the worst winter of the war, with heavy rain and snowfall making life in the trenches miserable. On the 10th of February 1917, he reported sick, and was evacuated on the 28th to England with a septic toe. Like many troops, Albert became a victim of trench foot, due to been consistently stuck in mud-filled trenches. He was admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Brighton. Albert recovered, and in early August left Folkestone to return to France. Shortly after he returned, he was attached for duty with the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company for a week in September. He returned to the 56th Battalion as they were slogging it out at Polygon Wood during the Third Battle of Ypres. Early in the new year, Albert received word that his mother had passed away in Campbelltown on the 31st of January 1918. This would have been hard news to take, being stuck in the trenches thousands of miles from home. He carried on with his duty, fighting during the bitter fighting that followed the launch of the German Spring Offensive in March. This was an attempt to crush the Allies before the bulk of American troops reached the front. The Germans breached the stalemate, and the Allies had to retreat, desperately trying to stop the Germans achieving a breakthrough. The 56th Battalion took up defensive positions near Villers-Bretonneux. During these attacks, Albert felt very ill. He reported sick on the 29th of April, and was admitted to hospital in early May. On the 2nd of June, he was evacuated to the Richmond Military Hospital in England. He needed much rest from the stress, going AWL for two days in July. By late October, he was attending the 5th Division Signal School, and was still in England when the war ended in November. Soon he received his marching orders to return home, departing England on the 19th of February 1919.
Albert was discharged from military service in early June, and returned to his family in Ingleburn. His father had remarried Alice Smith, and he himself found love when he met Hilda Annabel McIlveen. Albert and Hilda married in Ingleburn on the 14th of January 1922. They began their family, and by the 1930s had relocated to Concord, where Albert began working as a shop assistant. Remarkably the Chivers family were not left unscathed by the events of the Second World War. In March 1942, Albert's younger brother Allan, volunteered in the Royal Australian Air Force. Albert then also re-enlisted in the army on the 8th of August 1942, aged 45. He became a Warrant Officer Class I with 4th Battalion Headquarters. Albert continued his service until he was discharged on the 4th of January 1945. Albert passed away on the 13th of February 1976, his ashes were later interned at the Ingleburn Memorial Park.