Remembrance Day: The Ferguson brothers
The Ferguson family lived for 16 years at ‘Tareena’, a large home on the corner of
Sylvania Rd and Malvern Rd (now the Kingsway), Father, David was a Supreme
Court Judge in Sydney.
Arthur, the oldest son of David and Alice, was studying law at Sydney University
when he enlisted in February 1915 after seeing troops march through Sydney
to enthusiastic cheering. He wrote a letter to his parents explaining he was
abandoning his studies to enlist as he was consumed by the thoughts of his
He was given the rank of Lieutenant and shortly after arriving in Gallipoli was
promoted to Captain. Like many, he fell ill with dysentery and was transported
to Egypt but a few months later entered the trenches on the Western Front.
He was recommended for decoration for “show(ing) great resource and
coolness during the whole period of attack” during the bombardment of
Bridoux Salient on 5 and 6 May 1916. However, Arthur did not receive the
decoration as six weeks later he was killed by an exploding shell on 14 June 1916.
Keith was the youngest son and was also at University when he enlisted in May
1916, a year after Arthur. When he was sailing for England he had no idea that
Arthur’s life had been taken. He joined his brother’s former unit, crossing to
France at the end of the year. A month later he was seconded as aide-de-camp
to General William Holmes, and on 31 March 1917 as he was in the Bapaume
area accompanying the General, he walked over exposed ground and was
shot in the arm. While sheltering in a trench he also received a shell fragment
to the left temple.
Keith received treatment in London where he underwent surgery and
returned to Australia on 16 July 1917 and was medically discharged. He went
on to follow in his father’s footsteps in law and was also appointed a Judge
of the Supreme Court of NSW.