A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Lieutenant Theodore Hoddle-Wrigley
Born: 1895 Geelong. Died July 1916, Fromelles.
Enlisted: 21 August 1914 aged 19.
Served: Egypt, Gallipoli and Western Front
Theodore was the son of Geelong solicitor Richard Sandford Wrigley and Agnes Hoddle, daughter of Victoria’s first Surveyor General Robert Hoddle (who laid out Melbourne’s famous street grid).
After his father’s death, Theodore’s mother married Grant McDonald, who had purchased “Closeburn” at Pakenham from William Close in 1913.
Theodore was a keen cricketer, later playing for the St Kilda Cricket Club. His sister Frances Hoddle-Wrigley became a well-known championship tennis player.
Theodore left Melbourne on 21 October 1914 and in Egypt elected to “give up his stripes” when he volunteered to serve with a machine gun unit, which subsequently fought at Gallipoli.
In June 1916, Theodore’s unit was sent to the Western Front. On the night of 19-20 July 1916, less than a month after arriving in France, he was killed in action during the Battle of Fromelles.
According to eye-witness reports, he went “over the top” (of the trenches) with his men at 5.45pm.
Although they reached their objective in the German trenches, Theodore was killed when he was helping to direct the placement of machine guns, a feat mentioned in Charles Bean’s famous official war history.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com