Thomas WALSH

Thomas WALSH

Per his military service record (Depot), Thomas Walsh was born in Melbourne, Victoria.[1]  He gave his age as 43 years and 4 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 9 stone 7 lbs., with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed he had no previous military experience. Marked against his next of kin on his Attestation Paper was “No Relatives”.

He was attested at Katoomba by Captain A. C. Eade on 5th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Mount Victoria to Katoomba).  He did not complete his medical examination until 13th November 1915 at Liverpool.

He appears to have been one of the two recruits that joined the Coo-ees at Blackheath during their march from Mount Victoria to Katoomba on 5th November 1915.  His initial Application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form dated 5th November 1915 was addressed to the Recruiting officer at Blackheath, and his postal address was left blank.  The Preliminary Medical Examination section was signed by a medical officer at Blackheath on 5th November 1915.  The Certificate of Recruiting Officer section at the bottom of this form was signed by Captain Eade at Lawson on 7th November 1915.

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

However, it appears that his service in the Australian Imperial Force was short.

On 15th January 1916 Private Walsh was posted as a deserter. A warrant for his arrest was issued the on 19th February 1916. The warrant was withdrawn on the 13th of January 1920.

Research note: It may just be a coincidence, but the signature of this Thomas Walsh is very similar to that of another Thomas Walsh aged 43 years and 5 months, who was attested at Liverpool on 20th January 1916, who was also born at Melbourne, and was assigned to the same company that the Coo-ees were initially assigned to in the 13th Battalion.  The “Joined on” date of this Thomas Walsh was 4th November 1915, but there is nothing in his service record to indicate where this occurred.  This Thomas Walsh was sent overseas in May 1916, served on the Western Front, and returned to Australia in 1917.  However his next of kin was listed as his mother, who had a different surname, and there were some small differences with his appearance, and a different occupation was listed.

[1] NAA: B2455, WALSH THOMAS

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