Sergeant Frank Alberry, 867, 8th Battalion AIF and AFC

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, May 9, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Sergeant Frank Alberry, 867, 8th Battalion was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his heroic action on 25th July 1916 at the battle of Pozieres on the Somme.

    During this action he was badly wounded and had a leg amputated. After he was released from hospital he transferred to the AFC, where he was commissioned as a Lieutenant and qualified as a pilot. He was subsequently wounded again and returned to Australia 20th November 1918.

    He enlisted on 24th August 1914, aged 21 at Broadmeadows in Melbourne. He came from Hobart Tasmania. Interestingly on his application form it stated that he had previously served for 1 ½ years in a Welsh Regiment, where he had deserted but had been granted a free pardon.

    In March 1916, at the training school he gained a distinguished pass with Lewis Guns.

    Below is the official recommendation for the D.C.M.

    “At Pozieres France, on the morning of 25th July 1916. Sergeant Alberry controlled 4 Lewis Machine Guns & teams and showed great skill in their disposition. When our Right company “C” was checked during attack this N.C.O. personally took a gun to a flank & by the aid of this fire the Company was able to again push forward.

    Whilst the Battalion was digging in, he took a gun forward into a shell hole and gave good covering fire. The following night the Battalion was ordered to establish a Strong Post East of Orchard. Sergeant Alberry again rendered valuable service by establishing his gun on a flank, thus giving good protection for this party. When the Strong Post was established this N.C.O. took a gun there and assisted to hold it during the next two days. He was under constant fire and showed a splendid example to his men. A good deal of success of this attack was due to his splendid handling of L.M. Guns and great credit is due to Sgt. Alberry for this. He was badly wounded whilst being relieved from this Strong Post, and has since had his leg amputated. He had never been away from the Battalion since its formation in August 1914.”

    The published citation in the London Gazette on 20th October 1916 reads:

    “For conspicuous gallantry in action. He controlled four machine guns with great skill and determination and did fine work with them throughout. He was wounded while being relieved from holding a strong post and has since lost his leg.”

    Here is a summary of his service record:

    24.8.14 Enlisted at Broadmeadows, Victoria, posted to the 8th Battalion.
    19.10.14 Embarked from Australia.
    5.4.15 Embarked to join M.E.F at Gallipoli.
    27.12.15 To be Lance-Corporal.
    7.1.16 Disembarked at Alexandria.
    26.2.16 Promoted to Corporal.
    15.3.16 Promoted to Sergeant.
    26.3.16 Proceeded to Join the B.E.F. in France.
    31.3.16 Disembarked at Marseilles.
    26.7.16 Wounded in action, awarded the D.C.M.
    1.8.16 Invalided to England, Leg Amputated.
    26.3.17 Discharged ex Hospital to duty.
    3.8.17 Joined No.1 School of Aeronautics, Reading.
    13.9.17 Attached 29th, Training Squadron as Cadet.
    6.11.17 Having graduated as Flying Officer (Pilot) is appointed 2nd Lieutenant in AIF.
    4.4.18 Proceeded to France, attached to A.F.C. Depot.
    16.6.18 Taken on strength No.2 Squadron.
    13.8.18 Wounded in Action (2nd Occasion).
    15.8.18 Rejoined No. 2 Squadron.
    20.11.18 Embarked for Australia.
    5.1.19 Disembarked 3rd. Military District.
    6.3.19 Appointment Terminated at Melbourne.

    Source : National Archives of Australia Battalion - The Men
  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    Re: Sergeant Frank Alberry, 867, 8th Battalion AIF and RFC

    Lt Frank Alberry was credited with seven victories while serving with No 2 Sqn AFC [not RFC]: a Fokker D.VII on 16 September 1918; two Fokker Dr.Is on 17 September; and Fokker D.VIIs on 18 October, 28 October (two) and 4 November. He was flying SE 5a D6995 on each occasion.

    He rejoined the RAAF as a recruiting officer in the 1939-1945 War. In 1969 he died aged 77.

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I changed it !!! :)
  4. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member



  5. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    A thought: apart from the fact that having only one leg was not considered necessarily a bar to pilot training, was it deliberate that he was posted to an SE5a sqdn? I doubt that someone with one leg could fly a Camel ,where you needed constant pressure on the left rudder bar. Or can you think of anyone who did?

  6. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  7. danwillis

    danwillis New Member

    As the 1st and eldest grandson of F Alberry who lived next door from the age of 6 till his death, i know of his determination to excel in what ever he did. After the war upon returning he became a motor mechanic for several years before going bush as a timber cutter, he was credited along other members of our family as cutting the railway sleepers for the new train line from Flinders street station to Williamstown docks.
    So one knows at first hand just how determined he was. He taught me from the age of 16 how to service a motor vehicle and many other things.

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