The DELAPORTE Family from Bunbury were heavily impacted by loss of three ( 3 ) young lives in the Great War conflict of 1914 – 1918. Brothers, Arnold and Richard had both enlisted for service in early 1915, within 2 weeks of each other.
Their 18 year old nephew, Ernest William enlisted for service some 12 Months later, following the demise of Uncles Arnold and Richard.
The emotional trauma experienced by the DELAPORTE Family would have been unimagineable, with many local families suffering similar setbacks, until the cessation of hostilities in late 1918. A brief summary of the service history of each of the DELAPORTE BOYS follows for your information:-
( 1 )- ARNOLD DELAPORTE ( Private- Service No. 1992- 16th Battalion )
Arnold was 33 years of age and working as a Labourer ,when he enlisted for service on 16 February, 1915. He completed a Medical Examination at Harvey WA, then being posted to the 16th Battalion, 5th Reinforcements at the Blackboy Hill Camp WA.
In late May 1915, Arnold undertook training at the Overseas Base Camp in Egypt, prior to joining his mates of the 16th Battalion on the battle slopes of Gallipoli ,on 17 June 1915. In late August 1915 he was admitted to the 4th Field Ambulance at Gallipoli with an attack of Enteric. Due to little improvement in his condition, he was evacuated by Hospital Ship to Mudros Lemnos, before subsequent transfer to Hospitals in Egypt.
Arnold endured a protracted recovery from illness, which had been variously diagnosed as Enteritis, Colitis, Diarrhoea, Dysentry to Pleurisy, before eventual discharge from Hospital and convalescence in Egypt, in late October, 1915. After a short stay at the Training Base in Egypt, he was transferred to the Anzac Base at Mudros West, Lemnos ,before finally rejoining the 16th Battalion in action at Gallipoli on 8 December 1915.
The cleverly structured withdrawal from action at Gallipoli, saw Arnold shipped via Mudros to arrive in Alexandria Egypt on 30th December, 1915. Whist at Overseas Base Camp in Egypt on 21 February 1916, Arnold was admitted to Hospital at Ismailia, with an intial diagnosis of Influenza. However further tests during Hospital Transfers, had clearly identified that he had become dangerously Ill.
A Medical Report from Hospital in Egypt, on 23/02/1916 read ” On admission very restless, groaning continually, appears to have much pain when moved, semi-comatose, will not answer questions “. Tragically, at 1.40 a.m. on 25 February, 1916, Arnold DELAPORTE died from the effects of Cerebral Spinal Meningitis, at the 4th Australian Aux Hospital Abbassia Egypt. He was buried at the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery Egypt.
( 2 )- RICHARD DELAPORTE ( Private- Service No. 272- 28th Battalion )
Richard was 24 years of age, and working as a Sleeper Cutter, when he enlisted for Service on 2 March, 1915. He completed his Medical Examination in Bunbury WA , prior to joining the 28th Battalion ” B ” Company at Blackboy Hill Camp WA ,on 2 June 1915.
Following training at the Overseas Base Camp in Egypt, Richard embarked from Alexandria Egypt with the 28th Battalion on 4 September 1915, as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces bound for the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Sadly, Richard was killed in action at Apex, Gallipoli on 16 September, 1915. Battalion records show that Richard was buried at Cheshire Ridge, Chailak Dere No. 2 Anzac Cemetery Gallipoli. However, in later correspondence to the Next of Kin, the Army advised- ” It is evident that the Overseas Authorities have not succeeded in recovering and identifying his remains “.
Richard DELAPORTE is honoured by Inscription on Special Memorial B7 at the Embarkation Pier Cemetery Gallipoli.
( 3 )- ERNEST WILLIAM DELAPORTE ( Private- Service No. 6040- 11th Battalion )
Ernest was only 18 years of age, and working as a Labourer, when he enlisted for service on 13 March 1916. He was the son of Elizabeth, whose Brothers, Arnold and Richard, had already lost their lives during the Great War 1914-1918 Conflict. It must have been with great trepidation that the Family of young Ernest, were to bid him farewell on his way to serve our Empire, at that time.
He had qualified as a Signaller before joining the 11th Battalion 19th Reinforcements at Claremont WA on 26 June 1916. Ernest embarked Fremantle on 9 August 1916 en. route for Plymouth England. On disembarkation, he was assigned to the 3rd Training Battalion at Durrington, Perham Downs , until infection with the Mumps ,caused his hospitilization on 1 December, 1916.
Ernest was discharged from Hospital on 15 December , 1916 to rejoin the 3rd Training Battalion in England. On 3 May 1917, he was shipped to the 1st Australian Division Base Depot in France, before joining the 11th Battalion in the field, seven days later.
He survived the hardships of battle at the front in France and Belgium, until he was wounded in action on 18 September, 1917. Ernest had been severely wounded to the Head and suffered a Compound Fracture of the Left Thigh during this action in Belgium. He was admitted for treatment with the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance , but was unable to survive the severity of his wounds. He died at the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance Station, on the same day.
Ernest William DELAPORTE is buried at the Menin Road South Military Cemetery Ieper Belgium.