Biography

Birth date: October 1891
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Coonabarabran
Death date: 03 July 1981
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Coonabarabran
Final rank: Private
Service number: 887 - First World War, 1914-1918
Units:
  • 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment

Albany Thomas Frederick Varney was born near Coonabarabran, New South Wales, in 1891. The 24-year-old contractor enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 29 March 1915 and departed Sydney with the other reinforcements for the 12th Light Horse Regiment aboard HMAT Chilka on 7 June 1915.

Soon after arriving in Egypt Varney was transferred to the 6th Light Horse Regiment on Gallipoli and served there until the evacuation in December. While on the peninsula he wrote of an amusing incident where the sauce bottle in his bag was pierced by shrapnel and leaked all over everything in the bag. He considered it another thing the Turks had to pay for.

The following February Varney was transferred back to the 12th Light Horse Regiment and travelled with it across the Sinai, Palestine, and Jordan Valley. During this time he documented his service regularly in letters and postcards home, with detailed descriptions of the conditions and places encoutered. In October 1917 he participated in the battle of Beersheba and in May 1918 sustained a gunshot wound to the leg.

Varney sailed for Australia in July 1919 with the remainder of the 12th Light Horse. He later enlisted for service in the Second World War and was assigned to part-time duty with the 25th Battalion of the Volunteer Defence Corps. Albany Varney survived the war and died at Coonabarabran in 1981.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 07 June 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Photograph

P10735.001

Studio portrait of Corporal (Cpl) Albany Thomas Fredrick Varney, 2 Reinforcements, 12 Light Horse Regiment. A contractor of Coonabarabran, NSW, he embarked aboard HMAT Chilka (A51) on 7 June 1915. He served in Palestine and fort in the Battle of Romani. Cpl Varney returned to Australia on the 7...

P10735.001

Private Record

Varney, Albany Thomas Fredrick (Corporal, b.1891 - d.1981)

Collection relating to the First World War service of 887 Corporal Albany Thomas Fredrick Varney, 12 Light Horse Regiment. Collection consists of letters, postcards, and other documents that span the period from Varney's enlistment with 12 Light Horse Regiment his service in Egypt and on Gallipoli,... Maker: Simpson, Valerie

PR05253 (With records)

Heraldry

Souvenir embroidery : Corporal A T F Varney, 12 Light Horse Regiment

Embroidered cotton sateen 'Souvenir of Egypt' with a border of white cotton lace. The sateen is divided diagonally black over blue, to represent the colour patch of 12 Light Horse Regiment. Superimposed on the cotton in brown, yellow, red and green machine chain stitch embroidery is an image of the...

REL45853

Leather legging : Corporal A T F Varney, 12 Light Horse Regiment

Spiral fastening brown leather legging secured at the upper edge by a brass hook and two brass buckles. Impressed on the leather between the buckles is 'AUSTRALIA [illegible] [broad arrow symbol]".

REL45854.001

Leather legging : Corporal A T F Varney, 12 Light Horse Regiment

Spiral fastening brown leather legging secured at the upper edge by a brass hook and two brass buckles. Impressed on the leather between the buckles is 'AUSTRALIA [illegible] [broad arrow symbol]".

REL45854.002

Spur : Corporal A T F Varney, 12 Light Horse Regiment

Solid nickel and leather spur. The rowel has been replaced by a coin. This spur has a 1916 Egyptian 2 piastres coin. The spur has a single leather boot strap shaped with an instep guard, and a length of chain which is worn under the instep and attached at each end with a sliding clip.

REL45855.001

Spur : Corporal A T F Varney, 12 Light Horse Regiment

Solid nickel and leather spur. The rowel has been replaced by a coin. This spur has a 1917 Egyptian 2 piastres. The spur has a single leather boot strap shaped with an instep guard, and a length of chain which is worn under the instep and attached at each end with a sliding clip.

REL45855.002

Digitised Collection

Papers relating to Albany Thomas Fredrick Varney, 1915-2011

Papers relating to the First World War service of 887 Private Albany Thomas Fredrick Varney, 12th Light Horse Regiment. This is an extensive collection of letters, postcards and other documents that spans the period from Varney's enlistment with 12th Light Horse Regiment and his subsequent...

RCDIG0000895

Timeline

Date of birth 1891-10
Date of embarkation 1915-06-07
Date of death 1981-07-03