Raymond John Devitt
Serial No. 2789
36th Battalion & 33rd Battalion
Raymond John Devitt - Information
The Devitt family resided on Mitchell St in Camden. John and Catherine Devitt were both Camden natives, who married in Sydney in 1889. They started their life together, making a home in Camden, where they were blessed with Mildred, Raymond, Annie and Frederick James. Raymond was the oldest son born in 1893. He grew up with his siblings and eventually started to work as a nurseryman. When war arose, Raymond watched many of his friends leave for war. This included his cousin, William Devitt, who signed up in Perth in October 1916. The following month, Raymond decided it was time. He volunteered on the 14th of November 1916 at the Royal Showground Camp in Sydney, aged 23. Transported to Liverpool, he was then posted to the 6th Reinforcements, 36th Battalion. He departed Sydney on the 25th of November 1916 onboard the HMAT Beltana.
Raymond arrived in Devonport at the end of January 1917. He was marched into Details Camp at Fovant, before proceeding to Larkhill for training. On the 19th of March, Raymond was transported to the Western Front in France. He joined the 36th Battalion at Rouelles Base in July. The following month, he reported sick, however, was back on duty for the Third Battle of Ypres. Here, Raymond was wounded in action, as the 36th attacked towards the village of Passchendaele. Heavy artillery had been pounding the area, and on the 12th of October, Raymond was knocked by a shell. He was suffering a serious concussion and was taken by the 11th Field Ambulance to the 1st Canadian Casualty Station on the 13th. The next day, he was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital. He returned to his Battalion on the 16th of December. In the new year, Raymond experienced the bitter fighting during the German March Offensive. This was followed by a series of Allied counter attacks, which stopped the Germans seizing rail junctions and continuing on to Paris. These battles included Hangard Wood and Villers-Bretonneux in early April. Here, Raymond proved to be a capable soldier, promoted to Lance Corporal on the 17th of April. He was then transferred to the 33rd Battalion. He survived the war, and was transported back to England in April 1919. He boarded the Themistocles in mid June for his trip home. After his discharge, Raymond returned to his family in Camden and got on with his life. He passed away in Camden in 1959.