Alfred John Cordin
Serial No. 4461
13th Battalion & 54th Battalion
Alfred John Cordin - Information
As the war was raging, Alfred was working as a farmer, and residing in Bringelly with his family. Watching many of the local boys put on a uniform, Alfred decided to join up, enlisting on the 17th of August 1915 in Warwick Farm. He was just 19 years old. He began his training and was despatched to the 13th Battalion as a Private. He then embarked Sydney onboard the HMAT Ballarat on the 16th of February 1916 for overseas.
Alfred disembarked in Egypt in late March. After further training, he was transferred to the 54th Battalion on the 1st of April. In late June, his new unit left Alexandria for the port of Marseilles in France. Almost immediately the 54th were positioned for an assault to prevent German reserves from reaching the Somme Sector. Alfred and his mates rushed towards the German trenches during the Battle of Fromelles on the 19th of July. This short battle was devastating, as the men were pinned down by rapid fire, stuck in No Man’s Land. More than half the unit became casualties. This included Alfred, who was wounded sometime between the 19th and 20th July, shot in his elbow. He was carried to hospital in Calais. He was subsequently evacuated to England on the 26th of July, admitted to the 2nd Northern General Hospital. He was in bad shape; the bullet caused a compound fracture to his elbow, which became terribly infected. By the 10th of October, he was at the 1st Auxiliary Hospital awaiting transport back to Australia. Boarding the Hospital Ship Karoola, he left Southampton on the 16th of October. He was discharged from military service in January. Without modern orthopaedic surgery, Alfred’s arm would always be a source of pain and hindering his life as a farmer. For his sacrifice, he received a pension from the government.