Sergeant Cecil Charles Harpur Baldwin

Service Number 3019
Birth Date 04 May 1893
Birth Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Rydalmere
Death Date 02 March 1917
Death Place France
Final Rank Sergeant
Units
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 19 April 1917 on page 924 at position 6
London Gazette 16 November 1916 on page 11144 at position 7

Cecil Charles Harpur Baldwin was born at Rydalmere, New South Wales, in 1893, the grandson of Australian poet Charles Harpur. Preceding his First World War service he was a member of the senior cadets and the militia units St George's Rifles and the Legion of Frontiersmen. The 22-year-old clerk and accountant enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 16 August 1915, and he departed Sydney with reinforcements for the 18th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Suevic on 20 October 1915.In February 1916 Baldwin was transferred to the 3rd Infantry Battalion, which was sent to the Western Front. Among his regular duties, he wrote of listening in the trenches at night for enemy movement and patrols. He wrote to his mother several times during his time on the front, taking great effort to portray a positive experience as to mitigate her worrying. Baldwin signed off most of these letters with the phrase, "Don't worry, be happy." The battalion's first major action in France was at Pozieres in July and August of 1916. There Baldwin was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field during the battle. In November he was wounded in action with a gunshot to the left arm.On 1 March 1917 Cecil Baldwin was killed at La Barque near Bapaume during an early morning raid by a Prussian Guards unit. He was killed instantly by a sniper's bullet as he emerged over the parapet of his dugout. Baldwin was described by his fellow B Company soldiers as being a "very fearless man" and "one of the bravest men that ever stood". He is buried in France at the Warlencourt British Cemetery.

Collection items

Rolls

  • Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files

    Rank
    Sergeant
    Unit
    3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
  • Roll of Honour

    Rank
    Sergeant
    Fate
    Killed in action
    Date of Fate
    Service
    Australian Army
    Unit
    3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
  • First World War Embarkation Roll

    Rank
    Private
    Place of Embarkation
    Sydney
    Embarkation Ship
    HMAT Suevic A29
    Date of Embarkation
    20 December 1915
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918

Honours & Awards

  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Military Medal
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private
    London Gazette
    16 November 1916 on page 11144 at position 7
    Commonwealth Gazette
    19 April 1917 on page 924 at position 6
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Military Medal
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Military Medal
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    07 September 1916
    Unit
    3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    04 March 1917
    Unit
    3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Sergeant
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Military Medal
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    23 August 1916
    Unit
    3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private

Timeline

Date of birth 1893
Date of embarkation 1915-12-20
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-08-23
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-09-07
Date of death 1917-03-02
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-03-04

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