Remembrance Day: The Small brothers
Edward and Susan Small moved their young family to Audley from Ryde, living in
a cottage in the National Park where Edward was employed as a labourer. Their
three youngest boys enlisted in the AIF.
Hubert, the oldest son to serve, embarked on HMAT Ceramic in October 1916
and was deployed to France in May 1917. Moving to the frontlines of Belgium in
August, they endured the worst conditions of any battle up to that time in WWI
in the failed attack on Passchendaele Ridge. Hubert attended the Anzac Corps
Signalling School and in the New Year, the men were back in France fighting at
Strazeele. He sustained a shrapnel wound to the head and was evacuated.
He returned to Australia in May 1919, settling in Artarmon.
William was the youngest son in the family, enlisting after his older brother
Hubert in June 1917. After undergoing training in England, he joined the 20th
Battalion in France in April 1918 where he became ill. He re-joined the battalion
for the Battle of Amiens and on 18 August was struck down with a severe bout
of gastroenteritis and was evacuated. He returned to Australia in September
1919, living in Audley before his marriage to Lilian. He enlisted in WWII, lying
about his age as he was too old by two years.
Allen joined the AIF a few weeks after his 21st birthday in May 1918. His brothers
were already serving in France where his battalion was sent to Villers-Poterie
in January 1919. He was shortly after detached to No. 1 Company Australian
Army Service Corps, whose role was to ensure supplies continued to reach the
troops that were still on active duty. He sailed home in July and lived in Audley,
where he worked as a labourer.