A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Samuel Donald Ross Learmonth
Born: 8 June 1899 Curyo. Died: 6 July 1984 Colac.
Enlisted: 15 October 1918 aged 19.
Served: Broadmeadows Army Camp, Victoria.
Samuel was the younger brother of Alexander Learmonth. Like Alex, he attended Pakenham State School before the family moved to Sunshine. Later, he worked as a farm labourer/farm hand on a property owned by the Borden family at Watchem in the central-west of Victoria. The Bordens were cousins of the Learmonths.
Samuel enlisted with his parents’ consent at the Melbourne Town Hall on 15 October 1918, and was assigned as a private to the Recruit Depot Battalion at Broadmeadows. The War though, was rapidly drawing to a close and Samuel never made it overseas.
Due to the demobilisation of the AIF, he was discharged on Christmas Eve 1918 after 71 days service. After the War, Samuel lived in Richmond for a period, working as a labourer.
In 1933, he married Amelia Bottle, and raised a family.
In the late 1930s, he was living again at Sunshine, working as a grinder at the Sunshine Harvester Works, where his father and brother Alex also worked.
Samuel went on to serve with the Army Militia as a private in Australia during WWII.
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