Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
At Port Augusta, three men, Merrill, Betteridge and Paxton, were given a farewell during a Smoke Social called on their behalf. It was held at Northern Hotel by the Waterside Workers Association, Saturday Evening, 7 November 1914. Smoke Socials such as these occurred all over Australia at the time.
"Farewell", The Transconinental, 14 November 1914, p. 3.
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The three men were:
226 Private Arthur Leslie Betteridge, "B" Squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment. He saw service at Gallipoli and was wounded during the Battle of Romani, 5 August 1916. He was taken a POW at Sasa near Damascus on 29 September 1918 but recaptured in Damascus on 1 October 1918.
306 Private Charles Lester Merrill, "B" Squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment. He received a gun shot wound to his left eye while on Walker's Ridge, 8/9 August 1915. Merrill was returned to Australia and discharged as being medically unfit for military service.
320 Private Albert Paxton, "B" Squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment. Discharged as not likely to become an efficient soldier for active service, 22 November 1914.
The Sergeant Major:
Sergeant Major Francis George Morrell, originally from Victoria having served with the 70th Infantry Battalion. Morrell was selected to go to the Special School of Instruction at Albury from 18 September 1912 to 31 May 1913. Morrell was promoted to Sergeant Major in the Australian Instructional Staff from 1 June 1913, (Military Order 314, 1913.) He was promoted to Staff Sergeant Major in 1915.
Citation: Merrill, Betteridge and Paxton