Thomas Walter McMurtrie

First Name: 
Thomas
Middle Name: 
Walter
Last Name: 
McMurtrie
Date Enlisted: 
Friday, November 6, 1914
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
5th Light Horse Regiment (1st enlistment). 21st Battalion (2nd enlistment)
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Saturday, October 5, 1918
Place of Death: 
Belgium
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action
Details: 

Thomas McMurtrie (Service no 502) was born in Woonona, N.S.W. around 1895, and was fostered out from the age of one.

On his enlistment papers he listed Mrs Henry, his guardian, as his next of kin.

Thomas enlisted for the first time when he was 19 years old.  He was single, living with his guardian at Woonona, and working as a labourer.

He embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A44 Vestalia on 19th December 1914 with the 5th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Reinforcement, and arrived at Gallipoli on 16th May 1915.  Thomas served on the Peninsula until he was wounded in action on 28th June 1915.

He was evacuated to hospital in Egypt for treatment of a compound fracture caused by a gun shot wound to his leg.  Thomas was deemed medically unfit and returned to Australia, and discharged on 24th December 1915.

On 11th October 1916 Thomas re-enlisted (Service No 6062).  By this time Thomas was working as a farmer at Dunoon, near Richmond River, N.S.W.  He was still single, and again listed Mrs John Henry of Woonona as his next of kin.

On 3rd November 1916 Thomas embarked on HMAT A19 Afric with 21st Battalion, 17th Reinforcement, arriving in England on 9th January 1917.  He joined the fighting in Belgium on 5th September 1917 and served on the Western Front until he was again wounded in action on 8th June 1918, this time sustaining a gun shot wound to the knee.  Thomas was returned to his Battalion in France on 5th September 1918.  

Tragically, Thomas was killed during fighting on the last day of Australian involvement, on the 5th October 1918.

Thomas was one of the few who saw such long service.

There is no known grave for Thomas; he is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneaux, France.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, MCMURTRIE T W [Both sets of papers - Service no's 502 & 6202, in this file]

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