|Date made||c 1918|
First World War, 1914-1918
Demobilised Recruit Rising Sun cloth badge : Private A W D Connell, 58 Battalion, AIF
Rising Sun woven cloth badge sewn onto a khaki coloured, rectangular piece of cloth. The Rising Sun has been embroidered in blue cotton, with the King's crown embroidered in red. A light khaki colour has been used as a filler colour within the crown. The lettering in the scroll-work has been done in the same coloured cotton and reads 'AUST'N / MILITARY / FORCES'.
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.