Lachenal 'Anglo' 20 key concertina : Sergeant H J Chudleigh, 1 Field Ambulance, AIF

Accession Number RELAWM07996.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bone, Cotton, Leather, Steel, Wood
Maker Lachenal and Co
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c 1899-1905
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Hexagonal varnished mahogany wooden framed five fold cardboard bellows concertina with pierced decoration to each side frame. There are ten shaped bone key buttons to each side in two lateral groups of five, operating steel reeds contained within the instrument. A thumb button is mounted adjacent to the right side grouping. The upper note sounds when bellows are drawn out, while the lower note sounds when bellows are pushed in. The card bellows are clad and reinforced in black leather, and each face of the black leather bellows is decorated with a shaped piece of patterned paper, featuring a geometric star pattern in gold.

Each side is also fitted with a palm rail (one of which is impressed 'Steel Reeds'), and a leather retaining strap, screwed to the forward part of the palm rail, passing through a brass retaining buckle before being secured to the rear of the frame with a thick brass pin. An oval opening in the right side frame reveals a paper label which states: 'Lachenal & Co Patent Concertinas Manufacturer London'. A similar but smaller opening on the other frame reveals the serial number, also on a paper label: 75856.

The owner has written in ink on each of the 72 papered panels on the bellows places he has served and the men he served with. They are (grouped by the six bellows sections, and allowing for fading handwriting):

Gizeh; Abbasses / Tel-el-Kebir / A. W. Bladin; J. M. Magsby; B. Burdett / H.B. Barr / R.E. Brown (2 illegible ) / Le-Val-de-Maison / St Ouen; Vignacourt / R.A. Findlay; A. or G. Ross / J. C. Ironmonger; S Sgt McIlver, T. F. / S. Soollims; W A ?; N.S. Reed; C. H. Stevend / Beaucourt; Esbart / Hazebrock; Doilieu

Corp J. Graham, France / H. Ridgeway; F.H. Cartwright / J. Sodden; M. Maher; Chas. N. Catteral / H.V. Reynolds; G.B. Cohn; N..B. Briggs; 2 illegible / F.H.O. Bochholz; Allonville; Cardonette / Le-Nouveau Monde / Olincourt Chateau / Naours; Rubempre / A.E. Colvin; E.U. Youante ? / illegible; A. Carruthers / Cape Helles / Pt Suez; Pt Said; Albany

Neuve Eglise / Beauval Talmas / J. Hankin; J. Mark; J. Kitchen / E. Wareham; W. Robert Aspinall / illegible; ANZAC / Aden; Colombo / Imbros Island / S. Riordan; l. Barnett; illegible / N. Arnfield; G. L. Ford / Tiny McG ; E. Roy illegible (effaced) / Halloy; Flesselles / Estaires; Outtersteen

R.B.Shergold; Poperinghe / E.G. Jerome; R.E. Reynolds; Eric D. ? / C.G. Shaw Lt Col; T. Richorsen / G.M. Wilson, Maj; C.M. Hunt, Capt / Wargnies; Canapelles / Merris; Strazeele; Steenbecque / F.L. Finlay; Bailleul / Albert; Herissart / A.M. McIntosh, Lt; J.H.W. Norris / 2 illeg / Henry T. Jacob; J.A. Millar / Cairo; Mena; Alexandria.

Doullens; Candas / Henencourt; Millencourt / A.M.R Allworth / F. Stones; A. Patterson / G.A. Merrifield; F.L. Saite / Ifmnos; H.E. Miller; B.H. McLune / Hopoutre; Sgt G Matlynne / J.C. Aitken; J.Keating; Oswald Burton / ? R. Cummings; A.J. Stock, Capt / F.S. Richards; J. Greenwood; A.J. Drummond, Capt / Warloy- Balion / J.H. Cooper; C.E. Watts; Marseilles.

Suez Canal; Serapeum / W. Poole; ? Springwood / A.E. Hurlington; illegible / Jas J. O'Toole; Wallace J. Newell; ?; C.V. Owers / Contay; Vadencourt / Steenwerck; N. Clifton; illegilbe / Domart; Surcamps / Becourt; Brickfields / Alec Gillam-?; T. King / W.E. Kiel; A.R. Fleming; A.R.R. Palmer; illegible / ??Rawson; W.F. Dunne; Heliopolis.

History / Summary

One of two Anglo model concertinas played by 59 Sergeant Herbert John Chudleigh, 1 Australian Field Ambulance (1 FAmb), AIF. Chudleigh of Liverpool Road, Ashfield, NSW, was 22 years old when he enlisted at Sydney on 24 August 1914, and noted his occupation as 'storekeeper'. However, his Service Record contains a letter from his pre-war employer, noting him as an accountant with the New South Wales Government Railways & Tramways Chief Accountant's Office. After initial training, Chudleigh embarked for overseas service aboard the transport HMAT Euripides on 20 October 1914, travelling with the first Contingent Convoy to Alexandria via Colombo and the Suez Canal. After further training at Mena Camp and Lemnos Island, Private Chudleigh landed at Anzac Cove within the first 48 hours of the beginning of the Gallipoli campaign.

On 27 June, a contingent of 1 FAmb men, including Chudleigh, were transported by boat to Cape Helles to assist No 11 British Casualty Clearing Station. The ongoing and ultimately fruitless assaults by British, French and Indian troops (supported earlier in May by Anzac troops) on Achi Baba and Krithia in the south of the peninsula were generating many casualties and 1 FAmb provided support until there until 15 July. After the Gallipoli evacuation 1 FAmb was moved to France via Marseilles aboard the transport Simla. As casualties rose amongst his unit, Chudleigh was promoted to Lance Corporal on 16 June 1916, to Corporal on 5 August 1916 and to Lance Sergeant on 30 November. By May 1917, Chudleigh was a Sergeant (Nursing Duties).

From 11 to 15 August 1917 he was detached to support 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station (ACCS). The following day, he left for 10 days leave in Paris. He spent most of December 1917 on furlough in England and soon after his return was detached, on 14 January 1918 to 2 ACCS almost 3 weeks. As a 1914 enlistee, Sergeant Chudleigh was granted early leave and embarked for return to Australia from Taranto, Italy on 8 October 1918 aboard the transport Port Darwin. He disembarked at Sydney on 26 December and was discharged from service on 24 February 1919.

This concertina is the first of two used by Sergeant Chudleigh on active service. The first, he related in his letter of offer to the Australian War Memorial of 1924, 'I took away with me to the war and carried with me until August 1916'. At Mena Camp in Egypt prior to the Gallipoli landings, 'I used to play it, at the head of the column on the march, also, I played it at several church parades (where at times we had no other music) and also at various concerts etc in Egypt and France. I also took it with me at Anzac, where we managed to knock out some fun in the dug outs, during an impromptu concert or sing-song. It accompanied me also to Cape Helles when a section of my unit were sent there and once I thought I had lost it [while there] when our dug out was blown up by a shell. Fortunately I managed to dig it out, all covered with dirt, but still able to get a tune out of it.

'When we went to France, I still carried the old concertina until about August 1916 when I decided to pension the old instrument off and I sent it back home. I had it autographed by the officers and men of the unit, and also marked the names of the different places where I carried [it].

'The boys of the unit were so used to the old instrument that they made a collection and gave me the money to buy a new concertina, which I had sent from London and which I carried with me and used to good purpose till I left the unit.'

Both concertinas (see RELAWM07996.002 for the second) were first displayed in August 1925 in the Australian Medical Corps section of the Memorial's temporary museum at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne.