The AIF Project

Albert Ernest SIMMONS

Regimental number5487
Place of birthRichmond, Victoria
SchoolPort Melbourne State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Address40 Whitehorse Street, Footscray, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 5.5"
Weight138 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A.S. Singer, 40 Whitehorse Street, Footscray, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date7 February 1916
Place of enlistmentLeongatha, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 4 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateDied whilst a Prisoner of War 31 August 1918
Place of death or woundingGermany
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialCologne South Cemetery (Plot XV, Row A, Grave No. 53), Germany
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
48
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Son of Mrs Alice SINGER, Foster, Victoria. Native of Melbourne
Family/military connectionsBrother: 3248 Pte Lawrence Stephen SIMMONS, 6th Field Artillery Brigade, returned to Australia, 5 April 1919; Step-brothers: 8012 Gunner Joe SINGER, 6th Field Artillery Brigade, returned to Australia, 23 July 1918; 8011 Gunner William Henry SINGER, 6th Field Artillery Brigade, returned to Australia, 1 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 4 April 1916; disembarked Egypt, 8 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, 31 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 12 June 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France from 2nd Training Bn, Perham Downs, 5 September 1916; taken on strength, 6th Bn, in the field, 19 September 1916.

Found guilty, 11 October 1916, of being absent from billet without leave, 6 October 1916: awarded 72 hours' Field Punishment No 2.

Admitted to 5th Division Rest Station, 14 February 1917 (tachycardia); transferred to 45th Casualty Clearing Station, 19 February 1917 (trench feet); to Ambulance Train No 9, 2 March 1917, and admitted to St John Ambulance Hospital, Etaples; transferred to England, 5 March 1917, and admitted to 3rd Australian General Hospital, Brighton, 6 March 1917 (trench feet: slight); transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 13 March 1917; discharged on furlough, 23 March 1917, to report to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 3 April 1917.

Marched in to No 1 Command Depot, 4 April 1917.

Transferred to 66th Bn, 28 April 1917.

Found guilty, Windmill Hill, 23 July 1917, of neglect of duty, 22 July 1917, in that he when in charge of a prisoner allowed him to enter a wet canteen and purchase liquor: awarded 3 days' confined to barracks.

Proceeded overseas to France, 17 October 1917; taken on strength, 6th Bn, in the field, 3 November 1917.

Reported Missing in Action, 20 December 1917; believed to be Prisoner of War.

Reported died, 31 August 1918, whilst a Prisoner of War at Krankenhaus, Essen, Germany; buried in Cemetery of Honour, Grave No 407, Essen.

Name appeared on German death list, 28 December 1918.

Red Cross File No 2500501, statement by 7085 Pte A.O. STEELE, B Company, 6th Bn (ex-POW), 24 December 1918: 'He was of B. Company. Attached Munster No 1 Hospital. He was on a working party. He died in camp in his sleep. He had complained of having a pain, but they sent him to work on a night shift. He had a funeral and a decent burial. I was at the burial. Identification mark placed over grave. He died at Essen.'

Second statement, 5195 Pte J.W. SMITH, B Company, 6th Bn (patient, Havre Hospital), 11 February 1918: 'Simmons was in B. Co., VII. Pltn. I knew him slightly. He had only lately rejoined having been away from the Battn. for sometime. On the 20th Dec. we were holding the line somewhere between Comines and Messines, all the above men [SIMMONS, 2493 D. DILLON, and several others] were in a bombing post about 30 yards in front of our picket line, called "Olger Trench" where I was. This was about 12 mid-day. There was a heavy fog at the time. We could just make out the bombing post. Suddenly we heard some talking and men moving about in the fog - no shots were fired - a man from our trench ran out to see what was up. He came back and reported to the Officer (I do not know his name) that the Germans had taken the whole post away prisoners. There were seven men in all at the post. When we searched the post, there was no signs of anyone. The whole party were evidently taken by surprise, and were prevented shouting out for help.'

Extract from undated statement, NAA File, 7085 Pte A.O. STEELE, 6th Bn: 'I saw Pte SIMMONS of the 6th Bn lying dead as the result of overwork, starvation and want of medical treatment. His remains are buried in Krupps Cemetery at Essen.'

Remains subsequently re-interred in Cologne South Cemetery.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFirst given name incorrectly recorded on Embarkation Roll as Arthur.
SourcesNAA: B2455, SIMMONS Albert Ernest
Red Cross File No 2500501

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