Victory Medal : Private A W D Connell, 58 Battalion, AIF

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Bapaume Cambrai Area, Lagnicourt
Accession Number REL43108.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1919
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Victory Medal, impressed around the edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of 2884 Private Alfred Walter Daniel Connell, who was born in Telford, England on 8 March 1896. He emigrated to Australia in 1913, settling in Bathurst, NSW where he found work as a labourer. He enlisted for service with the AIF at Bathurst on 25 September 1916 and was taken straight into the training depot there. After completing his initial training at the beginning of October, he was posted to the reinforcements of 58 Battalion and transferred to Liverpool camp, Sydney. He embarked from Sydney on 3 November aboard HMAT A19 Afric, disembarking in Plymouth, England on 9 January 1917.

He began further training for the war on the Western Front at Hurdcott. During this time he was also able to visit his parents who were both involved in intelligence work for the British Government. On 20 March, he left England via Folkestone for France.

He was taken on strength of the 58th Battalion on 26 March, which was then in the line near Lagnicourt, and went straight into action with the battalion south of Lagnicourt in support of 2 Division's successful attack there. Connell's first day in combat would also be his last. He was shot in the left arm and hand and was evacuated to hospital at Rouen. On 17 April he was transferred to England and sent to Reading War Hospital. He remained there until the end of July, when he was sent to 3 ANZAC Hospital where he was medically downgraded.

On 14 August he was transferred to 1 Command Depot where a week later he was further medically downgraded and recommended for discharge as his left hand had lost a lot of strength and function. At the end of August he was transferred to 2 Command Depot at Weymouth to await for transport home. On 27 September Connell embarked for Australia aboard HMAT A29 Suevic, disembarking in Melbourne on 18 November. He was sent overland to Sydney the following day. Connell was discharged from the AIF on 19 February 1918 and granted a service pension.