A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Driver Alexander Robert Learmonth
Born: 12 June 1895 Donald. Died: 4 January 1975 Footscray.
Enlisted: 15 August 1914 aged 19.
Served: Egypt, Gallipoli and Western Front.
The Learmouth family moved to a property three miles from the Pakenham State School purchased from Mrs Wehl and later Alex’s father James installed an extensive system of drainage at “Closeburn”, the property owned by Councillor William Close.
Alex and his siblings Jane, Samuel, and Ethel attended Pakenham State School but by 1911 the family had moved to Sunshine.
Alex enlisted at St Kilda on 15 August 1914, just days after war was declared, and served with the Anzacs at Gallipoli until August 1915.
In March 1916, Alex was sent to France, where he served on the Western Front for the duration of the war.
At some point he was appointed as a driver.
Alex was discharged in February 1919 and went back to H.V. McKay’s in Sunshine to finish his apprenticeship, which the War had interrupted.
The following month, having obtained his “ticket” and a permanent job, Alex married his sweetheart married Alice Buckingham. They had four sons.
Alex continued to work at the Sunshine harvester factory (which became Massey Ferguson) until he retired in 1961, 50 years after he first began his apprenticeship there!
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