Frederick Albert Weir

First Name: 
Frederick
Middle Name: 
Albert
Last Name: 
Weir
Date Enlisted: 
Saturday, January 15, 1916
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Driver
Unit: 
6th Light Horse Regiment
Company: 
21st Reinforcement
Service: 
Cavalry
Date of Death: 
Saturday, February 13, 1971
Details: 

Frederick Albert Weir (Service No 2938) was born in Albion Park, N.S.W. He enlisted at Victoria Barracks, Sydney on 15 January, 1916 at the age of 27. Initially a trooper with the 21st Reinforcement of the 6th Light Horse Brigade, he embarked from Sydney with his Unit in September 1916 on HMAT Kabinga and arrived in Egypt towards the end of October.

In March 1917 Fred was transferred to to the2nd Light Horse, 2nd Machine Gun Squadron, carrying out duty as a 1st class gunner on Lewis & Vickers guns. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Driver on 22 June, 1917.

Fred spent the war fighting the Ottoman Empire in Palestine, in Gaza, and Jerusalem, including around Beersheba, enduring extreme heat and arid conditions. In December 1917 he was admitted to the 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbasia, suffering from dysentery. He re-joined his squad in March 1918.

Fred came home in June 1919 on the 'Madras'. Like all returning soldiers from the Kiama district, he was met at the station with much celebration, as described in the Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser of 6 August, 1919:

"Pre 'Flu' conditions ruled on Monday night when a big crowd gathered to Welcome Home Trooper Fred Weir on his arrival at the station, which was decorated with flags and welcome messages for the occasion. The Band was in attendance as the train drew in, the old familiar strains of 'Home, Sweet, Home' rang out and as the soldier who had been away over three years in the adefence of the country stepped out, accompanied by his mother and father, Ald D. E. Weir and Mrs Weir, he was showered with confetti and with greetings of a very affectionate nature, not only from his own sisters, but from other fellows' sisters as well, with hearty good will ...

... it took some time to make his way, in the absence of the Mayor, Mr Nicholson, President of the Repatriation Commitee waited to extend a hearty welcome on behalf of the citizens of Kiama ...

... Trooper Weir was greeted with hearty cheers as he rose to respond. The hearty welcome accorded him, was quite beyond what he expected to see so many faces about him was a very big surprise and a great pleasure. He was truly glad to be home again, the only regret in that evening's happiness was that his brother George was not spared to return and share it with him. It had been God's will he should be taken, and they had to accept it, but in the home-coming they felt more deeply the loss of those who had 'gone west.

Remembered by younger members of the extended family as a kind and gentle man, Fred resumed working on the dairy farm at Wesley Park, Kiama. In 1920 he married Ellen (Nell) Weir and the two moved to their own farm, 'The Hill', perched up on the ridge overlooking 'The Bends' and looking straight out to sea. Fred and Nell had no children, but Fred was active in civic affairs, serving as a Councillor on Jamberoo Council for many years, as his father had before him. He was also active in the local branch of the RSL and very supportive of other returned servicemen. Fred was to suffer the after-effects of his war service for the remainder of his life, with recurrent bouts of illness leading him to retire at a relatively young age.

Fred died on 13 February, 1971, at the age of 82 years, having outlived all of his siblings.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, WEIR FREDERICK ALBERT

Images

Photograph of machine gun squadron

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