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Horace EASTWOOD


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Pte 6318 27y4m 16/11/16 24/12/18 4

Private Horace Eastwood  (1889 - 1952)

Booklet

Early life

Horace Eastwood was born in Brisbane on 13 February 1889, the only son of Thomas, a carpenter, and Emily Eastwood née Spice. He had an older sister Gertrude1 and younger sisters Margaret, Violet and Winifred. Their home was situated in Manchester Terrace in the Brisbane suburb of Taringa.

Young men were encouraged to serve in cadet activities and citizen defence forces and Horace spent two years in a Queensland Rifles unit and two years in the Oxley Regiment. He learnt his father’s trade and became a builder.

Enlistment and service

On 6 November 1916 when Horace Eastwood was 27 years and 4 months old, he enlisted in Brisbane to serve in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).  He was a single man, only 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm) tall and weighing 124 lbs (56.2 kg).  He gave his mother’s name as next-of-kin and his religious denomination as Church of England.  Private Eastwood, regimental number 6318, was appointed to the 25th Infantry Battalion to train at Rifle Range, Enoggera Camp.

Reinforcements were needed urgently in Europe so Horace Eastwood left Australia before the end of the year. He embarked on board HMAT Demosthenes from Sydney on 22 December and arrived at Plymouth, England on 3 March 1917.  After training at Rollestone on Salisbury Plain in Southern England, he arrived at the Australian Divisional Base Depot at Havre in June and joined his battalion on 3 July 1917 for active service in the wet and muddy conditions in France.

After the 25th had acted in a supporting role at the second battle of Bullecourt, it carried out a major offensive role from 20 September when it was part of the 2nd Division’s first wave at the battle of Menin Road in Belgium.

Wounded in action

Victory here was followed by the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October, the day Horace Eastwood was wounded in action.  Suffering a gunshot wound to his right arm he was transferred to field ambulance station, hospital, clearing station and rest camp before rejoining his battalion on 31 March the following year.  The 25th by then was fighting to turn back the German spring offensive in France when Private Eastwood was wounded on a second occasion.  Gunshot wounding on 17 April 1918 on his left leg was so serious he was transferred to Guildford General Hospital in England then Dartford and Weymouth before the decision was made for his early return to Australia as injury had been caused to the external popliteal nerve. He was discharged on Christmas Eve 1918.

Marriage at Saint Andrew's

On 27 August 1919 at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Creek Street, Brisbane, Horace Eastwood married Rubena Elizabeth Probert, only daughter of Mr and Mrs E. J. Probert of Bundaberg.  Prior to her marriage, Rubena Probert, a tailoress, lived at Lang Street, Fairfield in Brisbane.

Move to South Africa

The couple moved to Natal, South Africa.  Their children born there were Irene, Dorothy and Michael Thomas.  A record was found of Mrs Rubena Eastwood’s voyage with her son Master Michael T. Eastwood on the ship Themistocles from Capetown to Brisbane, perhaps for a short holiday.  According to a passenger list of arrivals at Fremantle on 23 August 1937, Mrs Eastwood planned to stay with Mrs H. Westaway of Hillside, Meridan Plains, Landsborough, Queensland.

Passing

Horace Eastwood died at Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on 23 August 1952.  Widowed for twenty years, Mrs Rubena Eastwood died on 10 March 1972, also at Durban.


Footnotes

1. Gertrude Eastwood, Horace's sister, married Lieutenant W. A. Latham who is also listed on the Honour Boards.


References
• National Archives of Australia, military records, World War 1
• Australian War Memorial, AIF unit histories
• Ancestry on line
• Australian Electoral Rolls
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
The Brisbane Courier, 6 September 1919, page 4

Prepared by Noel E Adsett, Brisbane.  21 June 2016.

 

 

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