Thomas Henry TURVEY

Thomas Henry TURVEY

Private T. H. Turvey, of Gilgandra "Coo-ees", awarded Military Medal (Newspaper unknown, 1917)

Private T. H. Turvey, of Gilgandra “Coo-ees”, awarded Military Medal (Newspaper unknown, 1917)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4902A), Thomas Henry Turvey was born at Gulgong, N.S.W. [1]  He gave his age as 22 years and 9 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall, weight 10 stone 10 lbs., with a dark complexion, light blue eyes, and dark hair.  His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.  He completed his medical examination on 4th October 1915 at Gilgandra, and was attested by Captain Eade at Lawson on the 7th October 1915.

Thomas Turvey stated that he had joined the Coo-ees at Katoomba in a court case in December 1915, in which he was a witness.[2]  The Coo-ees had stayed overnight at Katoomba on 5th November 1915.

After completing the Co-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Gilgandra, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, T. [Thomas] Turvey, Gilgandra, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Turvey, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

He was transferred to the 45th Battalion on 20th May 1916.

On 7th June 1916 Private Turvey left Alexandria aboard the transport Huntspill bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on 14th June 1916.

On 19th July 1916 Private Turvey was taken on strength of the 45th Battalion.

Private Turvey served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France, in July 1916, then the Battle of the Somme around Pozieres, Mouquet Farm and Flers, without injury or illness.

His service record states that he was allocated the letter “A” to his regimental number on 22nd February 1917 on account of duplication of numbers.

Private Turvey was serving with the 45th Battalion when it was in action around Guedecourt, France, where on 27th February 1917 he was recommended for, and subsequently awarded, the Military Medal for bravery in the field, for his action on the 22nd/23rd February 1917.  This award was published in the London Gazette Supplement no. 30036 on 26th April 1917, and promulgated in the Commonwealth Gazette No. 133 on 21st August 1917.[3]

The citation for the Military Medal reads: “For his gallant conduct and devotion to duty during an attack on a enemy trench near Guedecourt on the night of 22/23rd Febry. 1917 when as a runner he maintained communication overland under artillery and machine gun fire between the front line and Headquarters. His work in this respect was quite consistent with his previous fine record established for coolness and determination in the face of all obstacles”.[4]

On 7th June 1917 the 45th Battalion was involved in an attack at Messines Ridge when Private Turvey received a gunshot wound to the abdomen.  He was one of 352 members of the 45th Battalion wounded during the attack.  Another 100 were killed and 50 missing.   He was evacuated to the 77th Field Ambulance, then to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station.  On 9th June 1917 he was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital at Wimereux.

On 11th June 1917 Private Turvey was placed aboard the Hospital Ship St Patrick for evacuation to England, and he was admitted to Royal Herbert Hospital at Woolwich with a gunshot wound to his right side on the same day.

On 22nd June 1917 Private Turvey was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.

On 13th July 1917 he was discharged from hospital, and sent to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 27th July 1917 Private Turvey commenced his return to Australia aboard the H.M.A.T. Demosthenes.

He arrived in Australia on 29th September 1917, and was discharged medically unfit on 1st November 1917.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, TURVEY THOMAS HENRY

[2] ‘Alleged Disloyal Conduct’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 3 December 1915, p. 4. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77602826

[3] The London Gazette, 26 April 1917, Supplement 30036, p. 3948, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30036/supplement/3948 ; Commonwealth Gazette, No. 133, 21st August 1917, p. 1786, https://www.legislation.gov.au/content/HistoricGazettes1917 (and copy in service record)

[4] Australian War Memorial. Recommendation for Military Medal, Thomas Henry Turvey, 27th February 1917, https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1625170/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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