The Great War 1914 – 1918 attracted multiple sets of brothers from the Bunbury – Wellington District of South West Western Australia. There were many casualties amongst the sets of brothers who left our District, but fortunately, each of the 3 Tweedie brothers returned safely to Australia , for subsequent Discharge from Army Service.
The brothers were born to father Robert and mother Margaret in Scotland between 1892 and 1896. They had taken up residence at Charles Street Bunbury, which each of the boys had quoted as their enlistment address.
Brief histories of the brother’s involvement in the Great War are as follows :-
( 1 )- ROBERT TWEEDIE ( b. 1892 )- Service Number. 144- 10th Light Horse Regiment
Robert was 22 years of age and working as a Teamster and was the first brother to enlist on 7th December 1914. He joined the 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment as a Trooper in W.A.. He was quickly promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal and embarked for Suez Egypt on 8th February 1915, on the troop ship ‘ Mashobra “.
Overseas Training at the Base Camp in Egypt led to embarkation from Alexandria Egypt, on 16th May 1915, with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, bound for the Gallipoli Peninsula. Robert was in action at Gallipoli, when he was further acknowledged, with promotion to the rank of Corporal.
His involvement at the Gallipoli Front was halted in mid- July 1915, when a bout of Diarrhoea caused his evacuation to the Lowland Casualty Clearing Station at Mudros on Lemnos Island. A further trip by Hospital Ship saw him admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis Egypt with suspected Enteritis. After a week in Hospital undergoing treatment, Robert spent time at the Helouan Convalescent Hospital before transfer to the Rest Camp at Abbassia.
On 1st October 1915, Robert was re-admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis, with a bout of Colic. Treatment and convalescence from this illness meant that he was not re-united with his Regiment , based at Helouan, until late October 1915. Whilst posted with the 10th Light Horse Regiment in the field at Heliopolis, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, on 22nd January 1916.
In late February 1916, Robert joined his Regiment in the field at Serapeum, until a brief sickness saw him hospitalized for one week at Railhead in early May 1916. After a further 3 months in the field in Egypt, he suffered Heat Stroke which kept out of action for 9 days. On discharge from Hospital, Robert was transferred to the 3rd Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar, Egypt.
Robert was posted to the School of Instruction at Zeitoun, Egypt in late October 1916 and was successful in gaining a Distinguished Pass at the Lewis Gun Course. He continued service in the field in Egypt until transferred to Australian Training Headquarters and Details Camp Moascar Egypt, where he was appointed Acting Staff Sergeant. In late July 1917, after spending over 2 weeks at the Isolation Camp at Moascar, he was back to the 3rd Light Horse Training Regiment nearby.
In early September 1917, Robert was admitted to hospital at Moascar with an undiagnosed Illness. Although he returned to the 3rd Light Horse Training Regiment 4 weeks later, after a further month, he was re-admitted to the same hospital in Moascar, and diagnosed with Malaria.
On 12th November 1917, Robert embarked from Suez for Australia on the troop ship ” Wiltshire “. Almost 4 weeks later he disembarked at Fremantle and was Discharged from Service on 24th December 1917.
( 2 )- Thomas TWEEDIE ( b. 1893 )- Service Number, 15058- 12th Australian Field Artillery Brigade
Thomas was 22 years of age and working as a Farm Labourer when he enlisted for service on 10th November 1915. Thomas spent almost 6 Months training as a Gunner with the Field Artillery Brigade Reinforcements in Western Australia, prior to embarking for Egypt on 4th May 1916 on the troop ship ” Port Lincoln ”
He was posted to the Artillery Training School at Tel-el-Kebir Egypt for 2 months , before embarking for England on 1st August 1916. After an additional 10 weeks at the Parkhouse Training Depot at Cosham in England , Thomas was transferred to the 12th Field Artillery Brigade and appointed Acting Bombardier. On 9th April 1917, he joined his Brigade for action in the field in France. He remained at the front with his Brigade, until granted Leave to England in late October 1917.
On 9th November 1917, Thomas rejoined the Unit in the field in France for a further 8 months , before being detached to a Corps Signal School. In late July 1918, he rejoined the 12th Field Artillery Brigade at the front in France , being promoted to the rank of Bombardier. He was granted a further period of 5 days Leave to England on 19th November 1918.
Shortly after rejoining his Brigade from Leave, Thomas was promoted to the rank of Temporary Corporal in the field in France. He remained with the Brigade until transferred to the 2nd Australian Division Base Depot Havre France, on 11th April 1919, for return to Australia. Thomas embarked England for Australia on 4th June 1919 on the troop ship ” Bremen “. He was Discharged from Service on 30th August 1919.
( 3 )- John Martin TWEEDIE ( B. 1896 )- Service Number. 714- 44th Battalion.
John was 19 years of age and working as a Grocers Assistant when he enlisted for service on 8th January 1916. He spent 2 months at the training depot at Blackboy Hill ,WA before being posted to the 44th Battalion on 27th March 1916. Swift promotion to the rank of Sergeant, was very impressive for one so young. John embarked Fremantle for England on the troop ship ” Suevic ” on 6th June 1916.
During formal training in England, John was admitted to the Fargo Military Hospital on 22nd August 1916, suffering from Influenza. On recovery he was posted to the Hayling Island School with the 44th Battalion. He joined the Battalion in action in France in early December 1916, and remained at or near the front for more than 6 months.
In early July 1917 John was selected to attend the Officers Cadet Battalion at Oxford in England. He was then promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant and rejoined the 44th Battalion in action in France in late November 1917. His continual impressive leadership resulted in promotion to the rank of Lieutenant on 3rd March 1918.
John was granted Leave to England in mid-August 1918 and enjoyed short stints with his Battalion, between taking accrued Leave entitlements to Paris and England leading into early 1919. On 8th April 1919 John was transferred to Codford, England for return to Australia. He embarked England for Australia on the troop ship ” Somali ” on 1st June 1919, then Discharged from service on 22nd August 1919.