Friday 14 December 2012 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comment
Military Heraldry and Technology, News


REL46119 watch chain with badges associated with Frank Pendlebury

My name is Maxwell Warren and I am a work experience student at the Memorial. One part of my work experience was to research a person and one of his belongings held by the Memorial). This person was Private Frank Pendlebury, a soldier during the First World War.

HMAT Borda in 1916 HMAT Borda in 1916

Frank was born in Newcastle, NSW in December 1890. Frank was a tailor, living at Plattsburg, NSW when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 31 March, 1916 at the age of 28 years. He was allocated to the 4th Reinforcements to the 34th Battalion and embarked from Sydney on 9 October 1916 on the troopship A30 BORDA, disembarking at Plymouth, England on 9 January 1917.

Strafer's Nest and Ploegsteert Wood, December 1917 Strafer's Nest and Ploegsteert Wood, December 1917

During his service on the Western Front, Frank was wounded twice. The first time he was one of several men gassed on the way to an attack near Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium on the night of 6 June 1917. He was admitted a day later to the 9th Field Ambulance where he was treated for the gassing, rejoining his unit on 11 June.

Men gassed in 1918. Men gassed in 1918.

During the early hours of 26 July 1917, he was wounded in action again, this time in his left leg and thigh. His battalion had been in the front line in the Messines area in Belgium for two days and were relieved later that morning by the 36th Battalion. Frank was sent to England to recover from these wounds on 29 July and was later classified as being unfit for service. He departed from England on 18 October 1917, disembarking at Sydney on 10 December 1917. He was then discharged medically unfit from the AIF on 16 January 1918. 

REL46119 The front and back of the watch fob presented to Frank Pendlebury in 1918

After his discharge he returned home and was presented with a watch fob by the Wallsend Soldiers Citizens Committee, on 13March 1918. These types of gold fobs were often given to returning servicemen like Frank as a way of saying thank you for his service. His collection also includes other badges acknowledging his service including a silver war badge, a returned from active service badge and a membership badge from the Returned Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen – Imperial Australian League (Now the Returned Soldiers League). After receiving these badges, Frank attached them onto an old silver watch chain which is now in the Memorial collection.



Fantastic work Maxwell, what a great article. And really excellent to see so many pictures as well, that's a good way to break up the article. Great research!