Remembrance Day: The Midgley brothers
Richard Midgley, acquired a ‘homestead selection’ in Bangor in 1896 for his wife Fanny and their eight children. Sadly, Richard died just three years later, leaving Fanny and their young family to run the farm.
In November 1916, the three youngest children Richard, Frederick and Harold enlisted and sailed to England together where they were transferred to the reinforcements for the 18th Battalion.
Frederick, the middle of the three sons, was 24 years old when he enlisted with his brothers. They travelled together in April 1917 to France, and by September had moved into Belgium where they fought the Battle of Menin Road. On the first day, Frederick and Harold were both wounded. After five weeks of treatment for a gunshot wound to his leg Frederick re-joined his unit. However, six months
later he was killed in action near Morlancourt, France.
Harold, the youngest of the Midgley children, was aged 20 years when he enlisted with his two brothers. Along with Fred, he was wounded in France, sustaining shrapnel wounds to his left shoulder. His recovery process was slow and was in hospital when he received the news of Fred’s death. He re-joined his unit a year later and took part in the advance on the Beaurevoir Line, the last of the
German defensive lines around Montbrehain. He arrived home in October 1919.
Richard was the eldest of the three brothers to enlist and was sick in hospital in Camiers when his brothers were wounded. He was able to re-join the battalion and during an attack through VilliersBretonneux was wounded in his thigh. By the time he’d recovered the war was over and he returned home in May 1919. He settled in Manly and passed away aged 94.