Edgar Lewis CUDDEFORD (MM)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5352), Edgar Lewis Cuddeford was born at Albury, N.S.W.[1]  (His name was recorded as Edward Lewis Cudderford on his embarkation roll).[2] He gave his age as 18 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as ‘engineering’ on his Attestation Paper. (His occupation was listed as ‘Engineer’ on his embarkation roll, however he was an engineering apprentice at Clyde Engineering Company, with 1 year and 11 months served of a 5 year apprenticeship, at the time he enlisted).[3]  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 2 ½ inches tall, weight 110 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed to have 4 years previous military service in the Senior Cadets.

He completed his medical examination at Parramatta on 10th November 1915 (where the Coo-ees held a recruitment meeting, and stayed that evening). He was attested by Lieutenant Edward V. Steel at Ashfield on 11th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Parramatta to Ashfield).

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Yelta, Station Street, Harris Park, N.S.W., and his next of kin was listed as his mother, Mrs M. J. [Mary Jane] Cuddeford, Mahonga Station, via Albury, N.S.W.[4]

On 9th April 1916 Private Cuddeford departed Sydney on the HMAT Nestor A71 with the 17th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion (along with several other Coo-ees), bound for Egypt.

Photograph of HMAT A71 Nestor loaded with troops on an earlier voyage, taken 11 October 1915. Part of the Australian War Memorial Collection. PB0607.

On 20th May 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

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

He was sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.

On 9th August 1916 Private Cuddeford was taken on strength of the 45th Battalion when it was manning support trenches in the vicinity of Pozieres, France.[5]

Private Cuddeford served with the 45th Battalion through its actions on the Western Front as a Battalion Headquarters runner, undertaking dispatch work.

He managed to survive the war unscathed. He stated in an oral history interview undertake later in his life (in 1983), that ‘I was fortunate that way’ and that ‘I never got wounded’.[6]

On 11th March 1918 Private Cuddeford was granted leave to England. He re-joined the 45th Battalion in France on 3rd April 1918.

On 18th July 1918 Private Cuddeford was sent to the 4th Army Rest Camp. He re-joined the Battalion on 28th July 1918.

On 18th September 1918 the 45th Battalion was engaged in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Le Verguier, France,  in which Private Cuddeford took part.

He was later awarded a Military Medal. The citation reads: ‘For bravery and devotion to duty during attack of 18th September, 1918, on old British outpost line near LE VERGUIER. Private Cuddeford is a Battalion Headquarters Runner, and during the advance, continually carried messages under adverse and most trying circumstances to various portions of the attacking line, always returning and giving voluntary and correct information of the situation. During consolidation, and after, owing to casualties in runners Private Cuddeford on numerous occasions volunteered to take messages, always proving most reliable and cheerfully carrying out his duties.’[7]

Notification of Private Cuddeford’s  award was gazetted in Second Supplement No. 31512,  to The London Gazette, 20th August 1919 (page 10585), and was also published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, no. 135, dated 11th December, 1919.[8]

On 30th January 1919 Private Cuddeford marched out of the 45th Battalion to commence his return to Australia.

On 10th February 1919 he departed Le Harve, France, bound for England. He arrived at Weymouth on 11th February 1919.

On 13th April 1919 Private Cuddeford departed England aboard the H.T. Commonwealth bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 12th June 1919.

He was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 7th July 1919.



[2] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Edward Lewis Cuddeford,  5352.

[3] NAA: B2455, CUDDEFORD E L  ; FIRST TO BE KILLED. (1916, September 2). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 11. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86069235

[4] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Edward Lewis Cuddeford,  5352.

[5] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War, AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, AWM4 23/62/6 – August 1916.

[6] Edgar Lewis Cuddeford MM (5352) as a private 45th Infantry Battalion AIF, France 1916-1918, interviewed by Dr Alistair Thomson on 6 September 1983, Australian War Veterans of the Great War – 1914 – 1918 Oral history project, 6 September 1983, AWM Accession no. S01308, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C88153


[8] The London Gazette, 19 August 1919, Supplement 31512, p. 10585,  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31512/supplement/10585 ; Government Gazette Proclamations and Legislation (1919, December 11). Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 – 1973), p. 2373. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232512820




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