3135 Gunner Amos Cooper Shepherd
2nd Brigade Ammunition Column - ANZAC Beach Party &
3rd Field Artillery Battery
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

Introduction

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The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the service record of Amos Cooper Shepherd.

The service record held by the National Archive of Australia contained a letter which was the first indication that Amos had a brother Thomas James who enlisted and was killed in action (KIA) on Gallipoli.

Note that some of the service record entries may be duplicated, reflecting different reporting streams for various administrative elements. Some pages may also be duplicated, reflecting the amalgamation of unit and hedquarter records on finalisation of service.

Service numbers were allocated by unit, and are not unique to the individual.

Prepared for Paul Shepherd, grandson of Amos Shepherd by Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 15 June 2018.

View Amos Shepherd's Service Record in PDF format, or Embarkation Roll entry.


Enlistment Details

Service Number

3135

Name

Amos Cooper Shepherd

Born at

Parish of Summer Corner, near Bathurst, County of New South Wales, Australia

Age

24 years and 8 months as at 15 October 1914 [Actual date of birth not recorded]

Trade or Calling

Bootmaker

Apprenticeship

Yes. 3 years with VJ Bennett, 224 Durham Street, Bathurst.

Marital Status

Single

Next of Kin

Mother - Mrs June Shepherd, 224 Durham Street, Bathurst, NSW.

Previous Military Service

Yes. 10 months with Australian Militia then left district.

Discharged with Ignomony

No

Attested at

Sydney, NSW

Date of Enlistment

21 October 1915

Height

5 foot 6 inches [167.7cm]

Weight

9 stone 12 pounds [138 pounds or 62.7Kg]

Chest

29 - 33 inches [73.6 - 83.8cm]

Eyes

Grey

Hair

Red

Religious Denomination

Church of England

Units

1st Field Artillery Brigade Reinforcements, 1st Brigade

2nd Brigade Ammunition Column - ANZAC Beach Party

3rd Field Artillery Battery


Chronological Events


Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Gunner

Enlisted, assigned to 1st Field Artillery Brigade as Driver

21 Oct 1914

May have dispensed with some elements of training due to previous enlistment.

Gunner

Embarked from Newcastle on Transport ship "BARAMBAH" (A37)

21 Dec 194

HMT "BARAMBAH" was one of the vessels captured at the commencement of the war from German shipping lines.

Gunner

Joined Military Expeditionary Force (MEF), Egypt, as Driver

19 Feb 15

 

Gunner

Transferred to Gallipoli Peninsula, Divisional Ammunition Column.

30 Apr 1915

Brother, Thomas James Shepherd was transferred from the Divisional Ammunition Column to the 2nd Field Artillery Battery on 23 Feb 1915, and can be presumed to have landed on the Gallipoli peninsula with that unit on the 26th of April 1915. The 2nd Battery, less one section, was landed that night, but re-embarked, less one gun. The remaining guns were landed on the 26th.  Although there is no mention of the number of wounded in the 2nd Field Artillery Battery Commander's Diary, I suspect that Thomas was wounded on or about the 25th of May and died of wounds on the 7th of June.  This may go some way to explaining the out of character behaviour which then followed.

Gunner

Awarded 10 days detention for absence without leave and breaking camp.

2 Jun 1915

May have have worked his way to the hospital ship where his brother was.

Gunner

Awarded 7 days Field Punishment No 2 for insubordinate language to his superior officer.

25 Jun 1916

Gunner

Reverted to the rank of Gunner at his own request

13 Jul 1915

This implies that he may have previously been promoted to Lance Bombadier or Bombadier, perhaps as a local (informal) rank but there is no such entry in his record. Record keeping would not be the most important task during the immediate phases of the landing.

Gunner

Transferred to Peninsula Gallipoli

4 Jul 1915

See note above for 2 Jun 1915

Gunner

Transferred to 3rd Field Artillery Battery

6 Sep 1915

 

Gunner

Transferred to 2nd Brigade Ammunition Column, attached to permanent Beach Party

14 Sep 1916

Gunner

Dysentery. Admitted to No 3 Field Dressing Station and transferred to Mudros (a small Greek port on the island of Lemnos, which was he staging platform and medical centre for Australian troops going to and from the Gallipoli peninsula

15 Sep 1915

Gunner

Base Records report member in Convalescent Hospital and a further entry notes his next-of-kin were notified.

1 Oct 1915

 

Gunner

Debility. Admitted to Ras-el-Tin convalescent Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt.

8 Oct 1915

 

Gunner

Embarked on Hospital transport "BORDA" for 12 months Change in Australia

15 Nov 1915

His debility was later upgraded and he was deemed Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI), because the next entries refer to pension details.

Gunner

Discharge from the Service as medically unfit.

13 Jan 1916

 

Gunner

Letter from Dept of Defence, Melbourne to Commandant, 2nd Military District (NSW) in reference to an enquiry which is not on his file. Advises that the proceedings of a Medical Board confirms Amos C Shepherd is an invalid and has been instructed to apply for a pension. It asks for his date of discharge.

14 Feb 1916

 

Pensions awarded

Full name of person for whom pension is claimed: Esther Shepherd, C/- Mr Ruhan, Cook Street, Lithgow, NSW
Relationship to member: Wife
Result of claim: Pension of 15/- per fortnight granted from 16 Aug 1917
Full name of person for whom pension is claimed: Master Thomas Henry Shepherd
Relationship to member: Child
Result of claim: Pension of 5/- per fortnight grante from 26 July 1917 and increased to 10/- from 16 Aug 1917
Name and address of Trustee: Esther Shepherd, address as above.

Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

First link to brother Thomas James Shepherd
Letter from Officer In Charge, Base Records to Mrs T Shepherd, 224 Durham Street, Bathurst, NSW, in response to her enquiry regarding the effects of her son 589 Driver T.J. SHepherd who died of wounds received at the Dardanelles.

18 Apr 1916

This letter was the first clue to the fact that Amos Cooper Shepherd had a brother who DOW on Gallipoli.

AC Shepherd submits a letter and Statutory Declaration concerning the loss of his discharge certificate in Lithgow, NSW. His address is given as 41 Queen Street, Bexley, Sydney, NSW.

3 and 7 May 1936

 

Gunner

AC Shepherd writes to apply for a duplicate discharge certificate, the original having been burnt in a fire. The letter is accompanied by a Statutory Declaration to the same effect. His address is given as 11 Pitt Street, Redfern, NSW.

2 Feb 1939

 

Medals awarded

1914-1915 Star
British War Medal 1914-1920
Victory Medal

Rising Sun Badge - 1st and 2nd AIF

World War One medal set


L to R - 1914-15 Star, War Medal 1914-1920, Victory Medal

Unit Shoulder Patch
1st Division Artillery
1st Division Artillery Shoulder Patch

Entitled to wear
ANZAC 'A' on Shoulder Patch
ANZAC A

Background - 1st Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Division
[Information from https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au]

The 1st Field Artillery Brigade formed in Australia prior to embarkation in late 1914 to support the newly raised 1st Division.

It went on to serve in ANZAC: Defence of ANZAC, Egypt: Defence of Egypt, Western Front: Pozieres, Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, Bullecourt, Messines, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, Ancre, Villers Bretonneux, Hamel, Amiens, Albert, Hindenburg Line.

Napoleon Bonaparte famously described Artillery as "the God of War" because of the effect that its fire can bring to bear on the battlefield. In WW 1 on the Western Front, artillery dominated and defined the battlefield. In concert with the weather, it turned the terrain into the pulverised devastated quagmire that is so synonomous with that period and place.

Artillery inflicted the most casualties and battle space damage and instilled the most fear among opposing forces. Its effect was both physical and psychological, with the term 'shell shock' coming into general use early in the war. Artillery required a Herculean logistic effort to keep ammunition up to the guns from manufacture to the gun line. It was also a very dangerous occupation, attracting the attention of the enemy, the general result of which was 'counter battery fire' designed to neutralise and destroy gun positions and ammunition.

At the outbreak of the War, Australian Artillery was in short supply in both quantitative and qualitative terms. The standard 'fire unit' of artillery is a Battery comprising variously four to six guns described as light medium or heavy depending on the equipment, calibre and weight of shell.

The standard field gun was the British 18 pounder (so-called because of the weight of the high explosive shell). When the AIF embarked, its artillery was light-on indeed. As it turned out the scope to use it at Gallipoli was extremely constrained anyway so it mattered less than had the AIF gone straight to Europe, where artillery was the definitive feature of the battlefield.

At ANZAC, guns were deployed singly purely becasue of a lack of suitable fire positions. The 18 pounders were the first into action but later an improvised heavy Battery was formed with two 6 inch (150mm) howitzers and a 4.7 inch (120mm) Naval Quick Firing gun.

Artillery units had arguably the least intuitive structure and organisation of any of the major Corps in the AIF. This in part reflected changing priority and availability of equipment. As the war progressed, concentration to facilitate command and control at the highest level, became a defining characteristic of the structure of artillery units (generally and somewhat confusingly called Field Artillery Brigades, - rather than the contemporary term 'regiments' - which were aggregations of like Batteries).

Specialised sub units (Batteries equipped with specialised weapons like Siege Artillery, Heavy Howitzers and Medium and Heavy Mortars) were raised and allocated across the AIF generally at Division and Corps level. The allocation of their fire support.was similarly controlled.

The standard organisation of Field Artillery took on the form of the Field Artillery Brigade which were formed to support infantry divisions. In 1914 and 1915 the First and Second Division each had three brigades (initially corresponding to the Brigade numeric designation) equipped with 12 x 18 pounder field guns. On arrival in France, the artillery was reorganised with each field artillery brigade having 12 x 18 pounders and 4 x 4.5 inch howitzers. There was initially a lack of howitzers available to meet the establishment.

Each Brigade generally comprised three Batteries of four 18 Pounder Mk 1 or II guns. With a range of about 6,500 yards (almost 6km) they fired a range of ammunition natures including High Explosive fragmentation, Shrapnel, Smoke, Gas, Star (illumination) and Armour Piercing projectiles.

In March 1916 a fourth battery of four 18 pounder field guns was added. At the same time a Howitzer Brigade was raised for each division with 12 x 4.5 inch howitzers each.

In January 1917, batteries were increased in size to 6 guns each in order to economise on headquarters structures and the number of Field Artillery Brigades in each division was reduced to two.

The ANZAC 'A'

The brass letter 'A' to represent service related to Gallipoli (ANZAC) was authorised to be worn 'over unit colour patches on both sleeves of the service dress jacket and greatcoat" by Military Order 354 of 18 Aug 17 and AIF Order 937 of 6 Nov 17, as amended in terms of qualification by Military Order 20 of 19 Jan 18 and by AIF Order 1084 of 25 Jan 18.

The size of the letter 'A', introduced as one inch in height (AIF Order 994 of 30 Nov 17), was reduced to three-quarters of an inch by AIF Order 1012 of 11 Dec 17.

Provision for wearing the brass letter 'A' was also included in General Routine Order 0.815 of 17 Dec 43 and GRO 310 of 7 Dec 45.

ANZAC 'A'

Wound Stripe

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916. (slightly amended for layout)
DISTINCTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED

The following distinction in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August 1914 :

  • Stripes of gold Russia braid No.1, two inches [2.5cm] in length sewn perpendicularly on the left forearm sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded.

  • In the case of officers, the lower end of the first strip of gold braid will be immediately above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men will wear the gold braid on the left forearm sleeve, the lower edge of the braid to be three inches from the bottom of the sleeve.

  • Subsequent occasions on which wounded, will be placed on either side of the original one at half inch interval.

  • Gold braid and sews will be obtained free on indent from the Army Ordnance Department; the sewing on will be carried out regimentally without expense to the public.

Wound Stripes

Long Service Badges

A.I.F. ORDER No.470, 24 January 1917 (slightly amended for layout)

The question of the issue of a badge to members of the AIF who have completed a certain period of service has received consideration, and approval has been given for the issue of a badge for long service combined with good conduct, subject to the following conditions.

  • The badge will consist of an inverted single chevron of service braid to be worn on the left forearm - the point of the chevron to be 3 inches [7.6cm] above the edge of the cuff.

  • Warrant and non-commissioned officers and men, will be eligible for the badge, which will not carry an increased pay or allowance.

  • One chevron will be worn for each complete year's service in the Australian Imperial Force from the date of embarkation in Australia

  • No badge will be issued to any man who, during the 12 months, has incurred a regimental entry (i.e. an entry involving forfeiture of pay) in his sheet.

  • Time absent from the unit in hospital or elsewhere on account of wounds or sickness, not the result of misconduct, will count as service towards earning the badge.

  • A man in possession of a badge will forfeit same on being convicted of any offence involving a forfeiture of pay , but will be eligible to regain the badge after 6 months good conduct, from the date of forfeiture.

  • The illegal wearing of this badge will be a crime under A.A. Section 40.

Long Service Badges

Overseas Service Chevrons

Australian Imperial Force Order No.1053, January 1918 (Slightly amended for layout)

His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas since the 4th August 1914.

  • Chevrons of two colours have been approved.

    • The first chevron if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red.

    • If earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue.

    • All additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

  • The chevrons will be worsted embroidery, 1/4 inch [0.63cm] in width, the arms 4 inches [10.2cm] long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm:

  • In the case of officers, the apex of the lowest chevron will be 1 inch [2.5cm] above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • In the case of warrant-officers, non-commissioned officers and men, the apex of the lowest chevron will be midway between the seams and four inches [10.2cm] above the bottom edge of the sleeve.

  • The red chevron will be worn below the blue one. They will not be worn on greatcoats.

  • In the case of Australians, the first chevron was earned the date the individual left Australia. Additional chevrons were awarded for each successive aggregate period of 12 months service outside Australia.

[http://au.geocities.com/fortysecondbattalion/level2/reference/01nos-standards.htm]

Overseas Service Chevrons