Herbert Sydney Critcher

First Name: 
Herbert
Middle Name: 
Sydney
Last Name: 
Critcher
Date of Birth: 
Tuesday, November 17, 1896
Mother's Name: 
Jane Critcher nee Casley
Father's Name: 
Frederick Critcher
Date Enlisted: 
Wednesday, June 9, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
4th Battalion
Company: 
D Company
Service: 
Infantry
Date of Death: 
Sunday, August 17, 1969
Place of Death: 
Concord Hospital
Details: 

Herbert Critcher (Service no 2244) was born in Woonona, NSW.

Herbert married Evelyn Kemister in Sydney, NSW in 1915.

Herbert first enlisted on 23 February 1915 but was discharged at his wife's request on 12 April 1915.  At the time of enlistment Herbert was 20 years of age, married, employed as a miner and volunteered after hearing about the death of his cousin Thomas Critcher (Service no 555) who was killed in action at the Gallipoli landing in Turkey.

Herbert embarked on HMAT A63 - Karoola with the 4th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements on 16 June 1915.  After receiving only a small amount of training, Herbert, was sent to Gallipoli, Turkey from Egypt, arriving on 4 August 1915 with the 4th Battalion, D Company in time for the battles at Lone Pine. 

Herbert was wounded in action on 8 August 1915 and evacuated to hospital for treatment of a gun shot wound to his hand.  He was discharged from hospital in Egypt and returning to Gallipoli in October 1915 but admitted to hospital sick.

In Egypt he found himself in trouble and under sentence for absent without leave and alcohol issues.  Herbert was sent to England in May 1916 and found himself in hospital and under arrest for 1916 and 1917, finally made it to France on 24 July 1918. 

On 25 May 1919 he was sentenced to 15 years for a civilian offence in Belgium and was returned to Australia in September 1919 and discharged on 10 November 1919.

Herbert enlisted for service in Port Kembla in World War 2 and served as Lance Corporal Herbert Critcher (Service no N389829) from 18 February 1942 until 24 October 1942 with the 13th Garrison Battalion.

In 1957, Herbert applied for a pension from Newington Hospital and died in Concord in 1969.  Herbert's file contains many heartbreaking letters from his wife asking for information about him and his health complaining that she has had nothing since he was wounded.  She mentions a child in one letter and appears to have no idea about his situation.

Herbert is remembered on the Bulli Woonona Memorial along with his brother, Frederick Critcher (Service no 3663) and cousin Thomas Critcher (Service no 555).

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, CRITCHER H S
NAA: B884, N389829

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