3614 Lance Corporal Roy Harold Lambert WIA**
15th Battalion, 4th Brigade,
1st New Zealand Division & later 4th Division
& Australian Army Medical Corps
1st Australian Imperial Force

WIA** - Twice Wounded in Action

This file last updated 5 October, 2018 13:36

Introduction

Picture - if available

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the service record of Roy Harold Lambert. The record itself is extremely sparse, particularly in respect of training in Australia, embarkation, disembarkation, training in Egypt and movement to France. Some of the gaps can be filled in from other documents, but not all.

There may have been some resistance by the family, because he enlisted as Roy Harold Lambert when his name was actually Harold Roy Lambert, and he gave his next of kin as Walter Lambert when his father's name was actually William Walter Lambert.

Some of the service record pages may be duplicated. This generally occurs when the unit and Army records are amalgamated on discharge or death in Service.

Service numbers were allocated by the original unit, and are not unique to the individual. Where an individual is transferred into another unit, duplicating an existing number, the transferee is given an alphabetic suffix, eg 1234A. Officers did not have Army numbers, and if commissioned from the ranks, relinquished their number on commissioning.

This biography prepared for Peter Taylor by Clive Mitchell-Taylor (no relation) - 15 Sep 2018. See also the record for William Thomas Lambert, his brother, who enlisted on the same day.

View Roy Lambert's Service Record, Embarkation Roll entry, List of 11th Reinforcements with Embarkation Details


Enlistment Details

Service Number

3614

Name

Roy Harold Lambert

Born at

Weldborough, [north-east] Tasmania

Age

21 years and 2 months at time of enlistment
[actual birth dates are not recorded, but it was 20 Jun 1894]

Trade or Calling

Miner

Apprenticeship

No

Marital Status

Single

Next of Kin

Father - Mr Walter Lambert, Weldborough, Tasmania

Ever convicted by the Civil Power

No

Previous Military Service

No

Attested at

Claremont, Tasmania

Date of Enlistment

18 Aug 1915

Height

5 foot 8 inches [172.75cm]

Weight

11 stone 8 pounds [162 pounds or 73.6Kg]

Chest

36 - 39 inches [91.5 - 99cm]

Eyes

Grey

Hair

Brown

Religious Denomination

Church of England

Units

11th Reinforcements to

15th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st New Zealand and Australian Division
[15th Battalion & 4th Brigade later reassigned to the 4th Australian Division]
Australian Army Medical Corps Details, 4th Brigade


Chronological Events

Rank Description Date Remarks

Private

Enlisted

18 Aug 1915

There is no record of his initial training, embarkation or any other detail until 1916

Private

Embarked from Melbourne, Australia for Middle East on His Majesty's Army Transport "ULYSSES" (A38)

27 Oct 1915

Detail obtained from UNSW AIF Project.

Private

Taken on Strength, No 2 Depot Battalion

9 Mar 1916

Training Unit

Private

Proceeded to join British Expeditionary Force (BEF) Alexandria

1 Jun 1916

 

Private

Disembarked at Marseilles

8 Jun 1916

 

Lance Corporal

Promoted to Lance Corporal

22 Jul 1916

Must have been with the 15th Battalion at this time, but actual date of march-in is unclear.

Lance Corporal

Wounded in Action (WIA), shrapnel wound (SW) to the head

24 Sep 1916

Lance Corporal

To 4th Australian Field Ambulance (4 AFA)

24 Sep 1916

 

Lance Corporal

To 10th Casualty Clearing Station (10 CCS)

25 Sep 1916- 26 Sep 1916

 

Lance Corporal

To 3rd Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne-Sur-Mer

18 Oct 1916

Inflamed middle ear

Lance Corporal

From Hospital to 4th Australian Division Base Depot (4 ADBD)

19 Oct 1916

 

Lance Corporal

Rejoined unit from Field Hospital

18 Nov 1916

Probably on leave in the intervening period

Lance Corporal

Wounded in Action (WIA), second occasion, gunshot wound (GSW) to right thigh.

1 Feb 1917

 

Lance Corporal

To No 2 Australian Field Ambulance (2 AFA)

2 Feb 1917

 

Lance Corporal

To No 11 Casualty Clearing Station

3 Feb 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Embarked on Hospital Ship (HS) "FORMOSA" for England from Havre.

9 Feb 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Admitted to 2nd (Birmingham) War Hospital, Hollymoor

10 Feb 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Transfered to 3rd Australian Auxilliary Hospital, Dartford

2 Mar 1917

 

Lance Corporal

To furlough and report to Training Depot at Perham Down

20 Jun 1917 - 4 July 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Medical Classification B1a

4 Jul 1917

Fit for light duties only, but without the suffix which would give an approximation of the recovery time.

Lance Corporal

Medical reclassification as B1

19 Jul 1917

Permanently fit only for light duties, which explains the transfer to the Medical Corps where there would be employments such as an orderly, but not a stretcher bearer.

Lance Corporal

Marched out to "B" Troop Rolleston

30 Jul 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Attached to 7 Training Battalion from 15 Battalion, ex No 1 Convalescent Depot

30 Jul 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Classified PB

31 Jul 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Marched in to 6th Training Battalion, Fovant

7 Nov 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Marched in the 6th Training Battalion from 7th Training Battalion, Fovant

8 Nov 1917

 

Lance Corporal

Transferred to Australian Army Medical Corps Details from 15th Battalion, ex 6th Training Battalion

1 Dec 1917

"Details" implies a group from which work parties - in this case Medical Orderlies and Stretcher Bearers would be drawn.

Lance Corporal

Marched in to No 2 Convalescent Depot from AAMC Details, Weymouth

31 Dec 197

 

Lance Corporal

Embarked to return to Australia per HMAT "MARATHON" (A74)

6 Jun 1919

Lance Corporal

Disembarked

7 Jun 1919

 

Lance Corporal

1914-15 Star issued

18 Sep 1920

 

Lance Corporal

British War Medal issued

21 Jul 1921

 

Lance Corporal

Victory Medal issued

24 Jun 1922

 


Medals, Dress Embellishments and Other Accoutrements

1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-1920 and Victory Medal

Not entitled to wear the ANZAC 'A'.

Two Wound Stripes for 24 Sep 1916 and 1 Feb 1917.

Four Long Service Stripes and five Overseas Service Chevrons.

Use the hyperlinks or scroll down past unit information to see further detail about these items, Hat/Cap badges, Unit Colour Patches etc.


Background - Infantry Battalions

[Based on information at www.aif.adfa.edu.au and Redcoats to Cams, Ian Kuring.]

In December 1914, battalions were organised into four companies each of four platoons, but strength was unchanged.

By mid 1918, the number of officers had increased to 38 but the number of other ranks had declined to 900. At the same time, the firepower of the battalion was greatly augmented with hand and rifle grenades and Lewis Guns, of which there was 34 per battalion.

Rifle, Short Magazine Lee-Enfield .303in, Mark III
Rifle, Small Magazine Lee-Enfield .303in, Mark III with sword bayonet

15th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 4th Division

[Information from AWM unit summary and RSL Virtual War Memorial]
Shoulder Patch of the 15th Battalion
Shoulder Patch, 15th Battalion
(Not entitled to ANZAC A)

The 15th Battalion AIF was raised from late September 1914, six weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. Three-quarters of the battalion were recruited as volunteers from Queensland, and the rest from Tasmania. With the 13th, 14th and 16th Battalions it formed the 4th Brigade, commanded by Colonel John Monash.

The Queensland and Tasmanian recruits were united when the battalion trained together in Victoria. They embarked for overseas just before Christmas. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving in early February 1915. Australia already had an AIF division there, the 1st. When the 4th Brigade arrived in Egypt, it became part of the New Zealand and Australian Division. The 4th Brigade landed at ANZAC late in the afternoon of 25 April 1915.

From May to August, the battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC beachhead. In August, the 4th Brigade attacked Hill 971. The hill was taken at great cost although Turkish reinforcements forced the Australians to withdraw. At the end of the month, a detachment from A Company reinforced the 14th Battalion's unsuccessful attack on Hill 60. The 15th Battalion served at ANZAC until the evacuation in December.

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt. While there, the AIF was expanded and was reorganised. The 15th Battalion was split and provided experienced soldiers for the 47th Battalion. The 4th Brigade was combined with the 12th and 13th Brigades to form the 4th Australian Division.

In June 1916 they sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918, the battalion took part in bloody trench warfare. Its first major action in France was at Pozieres in August 1916. Along with most of the 4th Brigade, the battalion suffered heavy losses at Bullecourt in April 1917 when the brigade attacked strong German positions without the promised tank support. It spent much of the remainder of 1917 in Belgium, advancing to the Hindenburg Line.

In March and April 1918, the battalion helped stop the German spring offensive. In July 1918, as a result of his valorous actions during the fighting near Hamel, Private Henry Dalziel was awarded the battalion's only Victoria Cross. The battalion participated in the great allied offensive of 1918, fighting near Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as "..the black day of the German Army in this war...".

The battalion continued operations until late September 1918. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. In November 1918, members of the AIF began to return to Australia for demobilisation and discharge.


Battle Honours

Somme 1916, Poziéres, Bullecourt, Messines 1917, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Paschendaele, Arras 1918, Ancre 1918, Hamel, Amiens, Albert 1918, Hindenburg Line, Epéhy, France and Flanders 1916-18, Anzac, Landing at Anzac, Defence of Anzac, Suvla, San Bair, Gallipoli 1915.


Australian Army Medical Corps

Information adapted fromfrom AWM unit summary and RSL Virtual War Memorial]
Shoulder Patch of the 4th Division
Australian Army Medical Corps,
AAMC 4th Division
(Not entitled to wear ANZAC A)

There is no specific information readily available for the Australian Army Medical Corps, 4th. The following is an extract from the 7th Field Ambulance which helps to understand the structure in support of the wounded.

The Field Ambulance Company was responsible for 'Second Line' casualty evacuation from 'First Line' Regimental Aid Posts (RAP) in each battalion.

The RAP belonged to the Battalion (or other units) and was manned by the Regimental Medial Officer (RMO), a qualified doctor generally of Captain rank supported by several non-commissioned officers (NCO) of Sergeant and Corporal rank, with a number of medical orderlies at the rank of Private.

They in turn were supported by unit stretcher bearers, generally drawn from the Battalion's Band. These men would be trained to administer First Aid sufficient to clear airways, staunch bleeding and perhaps splint fractures so that casualties could be evacuated to the Battalion RAP. Casualties would be hand carried - requiring at least four men but more like eight over any distance for each casualty. Hand carts were also used but rough ground generally meant stretchers, When mass casualties occurred, such as through major shelling or an enemy attack, decisions would have to be made about the priority of evacuation. The RMO would assess the casualty and decide whether they were to be evacuated and with what priority. Grievous wounds with little chance of survival would generally not be evacuated.

When an attack or advance was undertaken, the RAP would follow up the units' forward elements and were thus exposed to enemy direct fire (rifles and machine guns) and indirect fire (artillery mortar fire and even gas).

The Field Ambulance would have personnel deployed forward to retrieve casualties from the RAP to the Field Ambulance Advanced Dressing Station and then to a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS).

They would have to deploy forward to reach the RAP, and thus come under the same risks as the front line combat troops. They may have had a number of means to assist in casualty evacuation from light rail, horse drawn vehicles and even motor vehicles. Or they could indeed also be stretcher borne.

Soldiers with serious wounds who needed surgery have what is called "The Golden Hour" to receive the treatment they need. After that time their chance of survival diminishes rapidly. Conditions were such that evacuation times were extended considerably by poor weather, the predominance of water, mud, the detritus of battle, shell torn ground and enemy action. At the time infection was also a great risk as it was prior to the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics.

Once at the CCS, additional Medical Officers and supporting personnel were available to carry out life saving surgery. Some casualties might be retained in a limited number of beds - generally to allow more seriously wounded to be evacuated further to rear. The tragic fact was many men would have died here from serious wounds and indeed many of the cemeteries scattered through Northern France and Belgium originally began alongside a CCS.

From a CCS casualties might be taken to a Field Hospital or straight to a General Hospital.

In France, the evacuation chain would eventually see serious casualties sent quickly to the United Kingdom. In some circumstances an Australian casualty may have been sent home. Then they would undergo rehabilitation, either in the UK or back to Australia. Many of the wounded succumbed to their wounds in transit. They would be buried at sea in the traditional naval fashion.

It is quite remarkable that some men who were wounded multiple times, kept returning to the Front despite what in contemporary times might have been classified as a 'homer' - in other words they would have been deemed to have done their duty. However many men felt compelled to return to support their mates, particularly as the war drew on and reinforcements began to slow.


1914-15 Star

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
1914-15 Star

The decoration consists of a four-pointed star in bright bronze as shown, with the date 1914-15 on the central scroll. The reverse is plain, and is stamped with the name and unit of the recipient. The ribbon is red, white and blue, shaded and watered, worn with the red nearest the centre of the breast. It is atached to the medal through a ring.

It is similar in shape and description to the 1914 Star, to which few, if any, Australians were entitled.

The decoration, sanctioned in 1918, was issued "to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others eployed with military hospitals, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war as defined in Appendix 'A'. Individuals in possession of the 1914 Star will not be eligible for the award of this decoration."

Appendix 'A' included the Western, Eastern, Egyptian, African, Asiatic and Australasian Theatres of war, with commencement dates individual to countries and campaigns.


British War Medal 1940-20

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
British War Medal

This medal was approved by King George V in 19 19 to record the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion and the arduous services rendered by His Majesty's Forces.

The medal, which is supended from its ribbon by means of a straight clasp, without swivel, bears on the obverse the effigy of His Majesty - exactly similar to that on a half-crown - with the legend 'Georgivus V : Omn : Rex et Ind : Imp'.

The reverse bears a design which represents St George on horseback, trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers and a skull and crossbones, the emblems of death. Overhead is the risen sun of victory. The male figure, rather than a symbolical female one, was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolical of man's mind controlling force (represented by the horse) of far greater strength than his own. The design is thus also symbolical of the mechanical and scientific appliances which helped so largely to win the war.

The ribbon has a orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and with borders of royal blue. It is stated that the colours have no particular signification.


Victory Medal

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]

This medal, of bronze, bears on the obverse a winged figure of Victory, full length in the middle of the medal and full face; the borders and the backgound plain, without either incription or date. On the reverse is an inscription. "The Great War for Civilization." and either the names of the different Allied and Associated Powers, or their coats of arms.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a ring. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows.

It has also been approved that any officer or man who has been "mentioned in despatches" shall wear a small bronze oak leaf on the ribbon of this medal. Only one oak leaf is so worn, no matter how many "mentions" the wearer may have received.

The medal is designed to obviate the exchange of Allied Commemorative war medals, and is issued only to those who actually served on the establishment of a unit or ship in a theatre of war. [This is an important distinction, as those Australians who served only in Australia, or only in Australia and England, were not entitled to the award.]


The Rising Sun Badge

This version of the Rising Sun Badge was worn by soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Forces, and the badge has become an integral part of the Digger tradition.

Worn on the the upturned brim of the slouch hat, it is readily identified with thespirit of ANZAC.

There are a number of versions of the genesis of the badge, the most widely acceptedbeing that it derived from a Trophy of Arms - various swords and bayonets mounted ona semi-circular display in Victoria Barracks, Melbourne.

The original version worn in South Africa was modified in 1904 and worn by Australian soldiers through two World Wars.

Later changes were made to the style of the crown and the wording on the scroll. The "King's Crown" is the one shown to the left, while arches of the "Queen's Crown" rise at the same angle as the base of the crown, curve at their highest point to a level mid-way on the orb below the cross and then down to below the orb.

In 1949 the scroll was changed to read "Australian Military Forces".

In 1969 the badge was modified to incorporate the 7-pointed Federation Star with a central Queen's crown over the Torse wreath (a twisted roll of fabric) from the original 1902 version, and the scroll wording changed to "Australia".

In the 75th anniversary year of the the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, there was a drive to return to traditional accoutrements worn by Australian soldiers during the World Wars, which clearly identify the Australian Army. The Queen's crown returned to its central position and the scroll now reads "The Australian Army'.


The ANZAC 'A'

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.


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

[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]
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.


Overseas Service Chevrons

[http://au.geocities.com/fortysecondbattalion/level2/reference/01nos-standards.htm]
[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]

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.


Some Government Issued Badges

[Badge information collated from Australian War Memorial, "Australians Awarded" by Clive Johnson and en.wikipedia.com]
Nearest Female
Relative Badge
War Widows
Guild Brooch
Silver War Badge
 
Discharged Returned
Soldier Badge

Government issued badge in enamel
and sterling silver issued to the wife,
mother or nearest female relative of
a serving soldier. Additional bars
were suspended below for further
individuals.

Membership badge of a Kookaburra
in sterling silver, issued by the
Government to the widows of men
who lost their lives due to their
service. Numbered on the reverse.

Awarded to service personnel who
sustained a wound, or contracted
sickness of disability in the course
of the war as a result of which
they were invalided out, or to
soldiers who had retired during
the course of the war.

First issued in 1916. Slight variations are indicative of a number of makers. 267,300 were issued. Numbered on the reverse but the numbers have no link with length of service or Service Number.