The AIF Project

Paul Louis SPERBER

Regimental number20032
Place of birthTanunda South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBaker's assistant
AddressWindsor, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation30
Next of kinWife, Mrs C Sperber, 55 Peel Street, Windsor, Victoria
Enlistment date14 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll11 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentBombardier
Unit nameField Artillery Brigade 8, Battery 31
AWM Embarkation Roll number13/36/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 20 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Field Artillery Brigade
FateReturned to Australia 8 January 1919
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Plaque in Victorian Garden of Remembrance

Military Medal

'On the 3rd June, 1917, the 31st Battery during the barrage operation on that day, was subjected to very heavy shell fire consisting of 5.9 H.E., 4.2 H.E., and 7.7 shrapnel. The hostile shelling caused numerous fires to break out in the camouflage screening and ammunition boxes. These men [SPERBER, 19794 A.T. GOWANS, 19976 D. EDGAR, 19754 C.C. BARNARD, 19751 W.C. ERSKINE, 19772 C.J. RUSSELL] displayed conspicuous bravery and coolness under the hostile fire, carting water from a ditch close by, and standing on the tops of the pits throwing water on and putting out the fires, during the whole time of which the battery was being heavily shelled. Through their action and devotion to duty, all the fires were put out thus saving the whole of the battery ammunition, amounting to approximately 7500 rounds, and the guns and equipment which would have been otherwise sacrificed. In addition to this battery's guns and ammunition mentioned, it is also certain that the adjoining battery, which is connected in one line, would have also suffered lose.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 360 Pte William SPERBER, 16th Bn, died of wounds, 26 April 1915.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death26 January 1927

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