Bunbury – Wellington District Western Australia
21/09/1914- Completed Application for Enlistment & Preliminary Medical Examination Mornington WA
25/09/1914- Allocated to 1st Reinforcements 11th Battalion Blackboy Hill WA as Private
22/12/1914- Embarked Fremantle WA aboard ” Themistocles ” bound for Egypt
29/01/1915- Disembarked Alexandria Egypt ex Australia to Overseas Training Base.
02/03/1915- Embarked Alexandria with Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces bound for Gallipoli Peninsula
12/09/1915- Admitted 6th Field Ambulance Gallipoli ex 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance ex Casualty Clearing Station
18/12/1915- Rejoined Unit in the field Gallipoli ex Sickness
07/01/1916- Disembarked Alexandria ex Gallipoli
29/03/1916- Embarked Alexandria with British Expeditionary Forces bound for Marseilles France
05/04/1916- Disembarked Marseilles France ex Egypt
30/07/1916- Recommended for Award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the field France
01/08/1916- Promoted Corporal in the Field France
19/08/1916- Awarded DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL Pozieres France
03/11/1916- Promoted SERGEANT in the field France
16/04/1917- Reported Missing in Action France, then reported captured at Prouville France on 15 April and taken as Prisoner of War , being held at Limburg Camp Germany.
04/01/1919- Repatriated Prisoner of War arrived at Leith, England
04/01/1919- Granted Leave until 04/02/1919 then Granted Special 1914 Leave until 27/03/1919
24/03/1919- Reported to No. 1 Command Depot Sutton Veny England ex Leave
19/04/1919- Embarked England aboard ” Marathon ” as Invalid, for Return to Australia
31/05/1919- Disembarked Fremantle WA ex England
01/08/1919- Discharged from Service ( Termination of Period of Enlistment )
SERVICE MEDALS AWARDED
1914/1915 Star – Medal No. 633
British War Medal – 1165
Victory Medal – 1163
Distinguished Conduct Medal.
DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL
London Gazette – Refer First Supplement No. 29760 of 22/09/1916
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette – No. 184 dated 14/12/1916.
Recommendation ( Action for which commended ) :- ” For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the operations 22/25th July 1916 which culminated in the capture of Pozieres, 14 out of a squad of 20 Stretcher Bearers were either killed or wounded. Throughout the whole operation he worked incessantly and was the means of saving a great number of lives. He moved freely and fearlessly through the heavy hostile artillery barrage and his undaunted courage won the admiration of all ranks “.
Signed by Major General H. R. WALKER, Commanding 1st Australian Division.
WEST AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER 7 OCTOBER, 2014 by Malcolm QUEKETT.
Reginald and his brother, Ernest were working together at Hayward’s property in Wokalup, WA, prior to Reginald’s enlistment for service in the First World War. He received training as a stretcher bearer, prior to departing Fremantle for Egypt and then on to service at Gallipoli. Ernest enlisted in May 1915, initially joining the 12th Battalion, prior to transferring to the 11th Battalion.
During September 1915, Reginald came across a badly wounded Digger, who had received a severe head wound. He quickly realized the shocking truth, that this wounded man was his brother Ernest. He helped his brother to an aid post to allow evacuation to England for specialist medical treatment.
Reginald then survived the horrendous fighting at Pozieres, which left fourteen of his original twenty stretcher bearers either killed or wounded. He and partner Edwin GARDNER rescued a great number of wounded, for which they were both awarded Distinguished Conduct Medals for bravery. Reginald was promoted to Sergeant and became a scout for his Battalion. In April 1917,after surviving through a fifteen hour battle against the enemy at Lagnicourt, France, having lost the use of their Lewis Machine Gun, the men were captured and taken Prisoners of War.
BRITISH RED CROSS PRISONER OF WAR FILES
( 1 )- Letter from Red Cross on 15/05/1917 replying to an enquiry from soldier’s Uncle, W.S. EDWARDS of Camden Town, U.K.- ” Six weeks is usually the shortest time that elapses between the date on which a man is missing and the appearance of his name in the German Lists. We should be grateful if you would let us know at once should you receive a letter or card from Sgt. CAMDEN from Germany, as we undertake to supply all Australian Prisoners with regular parcels of food “.
( 2 )- 19/05/1917- Informant HILLS, Pte. H- 1781- 11th Battalion ” D ” Company – ” And a fine fellow too, is CAMDEN. He was in ” D ” Company XV Platoon. They ran short of ammunition and being utterly hopeless, went forward with their hands up, he and all his platoon that were not killed or badly injured. We saw this happen. They had dug in on the wrong side of the wire and were in an isolated position and we could not save them at all. Second Lieutenant STUART was in charge of the Platoon and taken Prisoner “.
( 3 )- London, 22/05/1917- Letter from Uncle , W. L. EDWARDS of Camden Town:- ” I have had a visit from CORIN, Sgt. W.L – 884, who was one of my nephew’s comrades and he tells me his platoon was about 800 yards from that of Sgt. CAMDEN on the night of the action. Sgt. CORIN says he is quite sure Sgt. CAMDEN was taken Prisoner with about 450 others. He says they were surrounded in a sunken road near a place named Pronville “.
( 4 )- 18/06/1917- Informant OFFER, Sgt. F- 1471- 11th Battalion – ” I was talking to Sgt. CAMDEN, half an hour before the Germans came over at Lagnicourt, part of ” D ” Company and most of ” C ” Company were surrounded and taken prisoners “.
( 5 )- Informant- GIBSON, Pte. R. – 2714 – 11th Battalion ” D ” Company:- ” The whole platoon with the exception of five were taken prisoners of war at Bullecourt on the morning of April 16, 1917 about 10.00 a.m. I saw them being marched off by the Germans; they were about 70 yards in front of my platoon. They were in charge of Lieut. STEWART and had advanced too far; they crossed the Sunken Road, and the German wires “.
( 6 )- Red Cross London advice dated 31/08/1917- Extract from Post Card dated 26/09/1917 written to Uncle W.S. EDWARDS – ” I am quite well “.
( 7 )- Red Cross London advice dated 12/11/1917- Letter written by soldier dated 30/09/1917 to Uncle W.S. EDWARDS- ” Transferred Friedrichsfeld bei Wesel “.
( 8 ) – Red Cross London advice dated 10/01/1919 – ” Repatriated Prisoner of War ” . Certified by List from AIF Headquarters dated 7 January, 1919;- ” Arrived Hull 04/01/1919 “.