Frederick Albert Weir – Rosalie (alto)
Service number 2938
Trooper 21st reinforcements 6th Light Horse
Enlisted 15 January 1916 Victoria Barracks, Sydney, NSW
Embarked 12 September 1916 HMAT Kabinga
Arrived Suez 24 October 1916 , to the Moascar isolation and training camp, Egypt
Transferred 31 March 1917 to 2nd Light Horse 2nd Machine Gun Squadron (1st class gunner Lewis, Vickers Guns)
Promoted to Driver 22 June 1917
27 November 1917 Sick (dysentery) 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance – 29 November 1917 transferred to 14th Casualty Clearing Stations – 4 December 1917 transferred to 24th Stationary Hospital (Kantara) – 9 December 1917 transferred to Cairo, 14th AGH Abbassia. 16 January 1918 discharged to Moascar rest camp.
Following periods of additional training over late February and March 1918, rejoined 2nd Australian Machine Gun Squadron 28 April 1918
Returned to Australia 27/8 June 1919 on the Madras (reverted to rank ‘Trooper’ at own request)
Born Albion Park, New South Wales
Pre-war lived at Wesley Park, Kiama, NSW
Occupation dairy farmer, Kiama
Appearance 5’7/2” grey eyes, dark brown hair
Age 27 at enlistment
Service commemorated at War Memorial Arch, Hindmarsh Park, Kiama; Honour Roll Christ Church Anglican Church Kiama
Fred Weir’s war was spent in the Middle East with the 2nd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron, fighting the war against the Ottoman Empire. He participated in fighting in Palestine, in Gaza and Jerusalem, including around Beersheba, enduring extreme heat and arid conditions and only just surviving a bout of illness that left him incapacitated for more than four months of his service overseas. On his return in 1919, and like all returning soldiers from the Kiama district, he was met at the station with much celebration:
Pre ‘Flu’ conditions ruled on Monday night when a big crowd gathered to Welcome Home Trooper Fred Weir on his arrival at the station, which was decorated with flags and welcome messages for the occasion. The Band was in attendance and as the train drew in, the old familiar strains of ‘Home, Sweet, Home’ rang out and as the soldier who had been over three years away in the defence of the country stepped out, accompanied by his mother and father, Ald D. E Weir and Mrs Weir, he was showered with confetti and with greetings of a very affectionate nature, not only from his own sisters, but from other fellows’ sisters as well, with hearty good will…
…it took some time to make his way to where, in the absence of the Mayor, Mr Nicholson, President of the Repatriation Committee waited to extend a hearty welcome on behalf of the citizens of Kiama…
…Trooper Weir was greeted with hearty cheers as he rose to respond. The hearty welcome accorded him, he said, was quite beyond what he expected to see so many faces about him was a very big surprise and a great pleasure. He was truly glad to be home again, the only regret in that evening’s happiness was that his brother George was not spared to return and share it with him. It had been God’s will he should be taken, and they had to accept it, but in the home-coming they felt more deeply the loss of those who had ‘gone west’. The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser 6 August 1919.
Remembered by younger members of the extended family as a kind and gentle man, Fred resumed working with his younger brother Harman on the family dairy farm at Kiama. In 1920 he married Ellen (‘Nell’) Weir and the two moved to their own farm, ‘The Hill’, perched high on the ridge overlooking ‘The Bends’ on the road between Kiama and Gerringong, overlooking his grandparents’ farm (Bushbank) and looking straight out to sea. Fred and Nell had no children.
Fred was active in civic affairs, serving as a Councillor on Jamberoo Council for many years (as his father had been before him). He also was active in the local branch of the RSL and very supportive of other returned servicemen who were doing it tough. He himself was to suffer the after-effects of his war service for the remainder of his life, with frequent bouts of debilitating illness, leading him to retire at a relatively young age.
Fred died in 1971, having outlived all of his siblings.