Frederick Warren Muir, a law student from Unanderra, enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force at Randwick on 22 August 1914. He had brief military experience, having spent two-and-a-half years as a lieutenant in the cadets. Muir was assigned to the 1st Infantry Battalion and departed Sydney for Egypt aboard HMAT Afric on 18 October 1914. After training at Egypt, Muir left with the 1st Battalion for the Dardanelles and participated in the landing on 25 April 1915. He wrote home to his mother almost every week from the trenches, describing in detail his experiences at the front line. His letters were published in the South Coast Times, a local paper in Wollongong. In late November 1915, Muir was badly wounded and taken to the Hospital Ship Glenart Castle, just off the coast of the peninsula. Unfortunately, on 28 November he succumbed to his wounds and was buried at sea. Frederick Muir is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Turkey.
Fred Muir was the son of solicitor James Muir and his wife, Alice. He was born in Unanderra in Illawarra, New South Wales, in 1893. James Muir died when Fred was very young, and Fredas uncle Byron became his guardian. Fred attended the public school in Unanderra and the district school in Wollongong. He later received private tuition in the hopes of becoming a solicitor, like his father. He was also an active member of the local cadets, rising to the rank of lieutenant.Fred Muir enlisted within weeks of the outbreak of war in 1914. He was posted to the 1st Battalion, and after a short period of training was sent for overseas service. Fred and the 1st Battalion arrived in Egypt on 2 December 1914, and took part in the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915.Muir sent a number of letters home, many of which were published in the local newspaper. He wrote of life in the trenches, Turkish attacks, and the armistice to bury the dead in May. After the heavy fighting of the landing, Fred noted that the men had asettled down to the monotony of trench life, losing account of the day, date and timea. He wrote of a Turkish howitzer, which he and his mates had dubbed aNed Kellya, sending over several shells which burst very close to his position, ashaking our trenches and covering us with dust and heaps of eartha. He added: aIt is amazing with what equanimity you can contemplate the other side being shelled by such monsters as [our] 15-inch guns, but how the case is changed when they retaliatea.After participating in the fierce fighting of the August Offensive, Muir was sent to a rest camp on the island of Lemnos for seven weeks. He wrote:None of us felt particularly sorry when the coast of Gallipoli disappeared. Five months under fire, in the dirt and discomfort of the trenches had proved about as much as we could stand; moreover, the fighting during the last month had been very severe and exhausting, and the winter was beginning.Muir arrived back at Anzac Cove in October. In November he wrote home of the stillness: aeverything here remains very quiet; there is a little artillery during the day, but our position is not much troubled by shellsa.However, a month later an artillery shell landed close enough to Private Muiras position to badly wound him in the head and face. He was evacuated on board a hospital ship. The nursing matron wrote that everything possible was done for him, and he seemed to be getting better. However, a day later he took a sudden turn for the worse and lapsed into unconsciousness. Private Fred Muir died on 28 November 1915 and was buried at sea. He was 22 years old.His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 Australians who died during the First World War.This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Frederick Warren Muir, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.