Private Donald George Polden

Service number 2745
Birth Date 1894-01-28
Birth Place Australia: South Australia, Mount Pleasant
Death Date 1958-05-14
Death Place Australia: South Australia
Final Rank Private
Unit 15th Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

Donald George Polden was born at Mount Pleasant, South Australia, on 28 January 1894, to parents George and Emma née Petersen. He was working as a blacksmith when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Claremont, Tasmania, on 30 June 1915. Polden joined the 8th reinforcements of the 15th Battalion and embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Kyarra on 21 August 1915.

Polden joined the 15th Battalion at Lemnos on 23 October 1915. In early December, he was admitted to hospital on Gallipoli with influenza. He rejoined the 15th Battalion on 12 December and arrived in Alexandria on 29 December 1915 before being hospitalised again in early 1916, this time with tonsillitis.

He arrived in France on 8 June 1916, where he served with the 15th Battalion. Polden was also a bass drummer in the 15th Battalion Band. Between 27 October and 10 November 1917, he was granted leave to the UK. He remained with the battalion for the remainder of his time on active service.

He mobilised to return to Australia and left France on 15 April 1919, arriving in England a day later. Polden returned to Australia aboard HMAT Beltana on 2 June 1919 and was given a welcome reception in Tweedvale, South Australia, on 31 July 1919. Driver Bailey Burnley was also welcomed home at the same event.

On 21 July 1939, he was a passenger in a vehicle that collided head on with a strainer post near Keppoch and remained in the Naracoote Hospital recovering from his injuries until being released on 1 August. At the time, he was working as a sawmiller at Loebethal, South Australia. Donald Polden died on 14 May 1958 and is buried at Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia.



Date of birth 28 January 1894
Date of enlistment 30 June 1915
Date of embarkation 21 August 1915
Date returned to Australia 02 June 1919
Date of death 14 May 1958