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Prayer Book - World War I, Corporal S.W. Siddeley, 20 Aug 1914 Document Reg. No: ST 036538

Book of Common Prayer (Anglican), bound in maroon leather. Prayer book includes psalms and hymns, ancient and modern. Gift to Corporal S.W. Siddeley, Australian Army Medical Corps, from his mother L. Siddeley, 20 August 1914, two days after his enlistment in the Australian Infantry Forces.

Inscription from mother on flyleaf. Written on title page 'Lieutenant S.W. Siddeley 5th Regiment'. Carried during service at Gallipoli during World War I.

William McQueen Saxon ('S.W') Siddeley was a 19-year-old private secretary when he enlisted at Broadmeadows on 18 August 1914. Siddeley became a member of the Australian Army Medical Corps, First AIF, attached to the 5th Battalion, regimental number 1053. He embarked for service abroad on 21 October 1914, and took part in the first landing at Gallipoli on 24 April 1915. His character and conduct while serving in the AIF was described as 'good'.

In May 1915, while still in Gallipoli, Siddeley reported to have 'defective eyesight', and his Casualty Form indicates that he left for Australia on the 'Euripides' on 29 August 1915, arriving 1 October. After time in hospital in Australia, and extended furlough, he was discharged from the AIF on 15 May 1916, being 'medically unfit' 'not due to misconduct'. On 1 November 1916, he was sufficiently recovered to begin duties as a Canteen Sergeant on the troopship HMT 'Afric'. He went overseas again, but only briefly: on 12 February 1917 the 'Afric' was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel. Five died in the explosion and 17 drowned; 145 survived. This tragedy marked the end of Siddeley's war-time service: he left Plymouth for Australia on the 'Beltana' ('Services no longer required') on 17 March 1917, arriving in Australia in mid-May. After the War, Siddeley (ironically) became an eyesight specialist, working from the Finks Buildings, 6A Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. The effects of the war continued; the family reported that he had one short episode when he was admitted to the 'neurotic ward' at the Heidlelberg Repatriation Hospital. He died (or was noted deceased) on 24 April 1971.
Small book with maroon leather binding.
Acquisition Information:
Donation & Subsequent Transfer from Returned Servicemen's League of Australia Limited (RSL) Victorian Branch, 1984
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 115 mm (Height), 84 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Closedmm

More information

Tagged with: wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918, religions anglican, australian army, military memorabilia, militaria australian
Themes this item is part of: Arms Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Corporal S.W. Siddeley, AIF (1895-1971)
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Personal Effects
Tertiary Classification: religious materials
Inscriptions: Inscription from mother on flyleaf. Written on title page 'Lieutenant S.W. Siddeley 5th Regiment'.
Date Inscribed: 20 Aug 1914
Past Owner: Corporal S. Siddeley - Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Australian Army Medical Corps, 1914-1917

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