Topic: AIF - 3B - 3 Sig Trp
590 Corporal Alfred Sydney Goldthorpe,
3rd Signal Troop, AIF
Alfred Sydney Goldthorpe, a brief military biography from The AIF Project:
|Date of birth||17 March 1893|
|Place of birth||London, England|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Age at embarkation||22|
|Next of kin||Father, Frederick Goldthorpe, 89 Harpenden Road, Wanstead Park, London, England|
|Enlistment date||27 October 1914|
|Rank on enlistment||Sapper|
|Unit name||3rd Light Horse Brigade, 3rd Signal Troop|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Melbourne on board the HMAT A51 Chilka 2 February 1915|
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Corporal|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||3rd Signal Troop|
|Recommendations (Medals and Awards)|| |
Recommendation date: 20 September 1918
|Fate||Discharged 20 October 1919|
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 119
Date: 17 October 1919
|Other details|| |
Medals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory MedalAlso served in World War II: enlisted, 17 June 1941, Royal Park, Victoria; discharged, 19 September 1944, as V16185 Sergeant, 3rd Garrison Brigade.
Alfred Sydney Goldthorpe absented himself without leave. When he reported for duty was found guilty by a Field General Court Martial of being absent without leave. He was sentenced to one year hard labour although half the sentence was remitted for brave conduct at Gallipoli.
The following is a letter written by Alfred Sydney Goldthorpe in an effort to explain the circumstance related to his absence.
On 14th February, 1916, I absented myself from the unit with the intention of renewing acquaintance with some old ship mates on board the SS "Patani", (Capt. J. W. Lawson), lying at Port Said. (I was in the Merchant Service prior to enlistment in the AIF). The following day (15/2/1916), after a drinking bout with my friends, I awoke to find myself on board this vessel and before I could be placed ashore, the ship was ordered to proceed immediately on its journey to Salonica with supplies for the British Troops. On the Captain being informed of my presence on board ship, he stated that it would not be possible to put me ashore and I was then prevailed upon to sign on the ship's articles as Assistant Cook. At the time there did not appear to be much opportunity of the Light Horse being engaged in immediate hostilities and, as I was informed the ship would return to Egypt after discharging her cargo, I was not unduly worried about my position, particularly as the ship was engaged on Government Transport Service.
Instead, however of returning to Egypt, the ship proceeded to Canada to pick up a cargo of locomotives and other railway material for delivery at Le Havre. From Le Havre we went to Newport, Monmouthshire, where on 19/5/1916 I was paid off owing to a recurrent attack of dysentry contracted on Gallipoli where I had served from approx. 15 May to the end of September. As soon as I was recovered from my illness, I reported to AIF Headquarters at Horseferry Road, where I was placed under arrest and sent to Salisbury Plains where I remained for about two months awaiting court-martial. As so much time was spent in preparing the charge against me, I considered that if I could be tried by Light Horse Officers, my case would be treated more leniently than by officers of a different arm of the Service and I accordingly broke arrest and by devious ways (I like that bit!!!) returned to Egypt where on 9th December, 1916, I reported in uniform to my Unit.
The finding of the Court is probably known to you as also is my subsequent service, promotion and award of the Military Medal, and I would like you to know also that when I decided to visit the "Patani" at Port Said there was absolutely no thought in my mind of desertion from the Service. Had I desired this could easily have been accomplished at the various ports of call of the "Patani", particularly in Canada, but, as the ship was engaged on transport work, I was doing my bit towards the successful conclusion of the war.
I trust therefore that the above explanation will be satisfactory to you and that my transport service may be considered work of a military character.
Award: Military Medal
Date of London Gazette: 3 July 1919
Location in London Gazette: Page 8356, position 81
Date of Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 17 October 1919
Location in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: Page 1530, position 77
Citation: 590 Corporal Alfred Sydney Goldthorpe, 3rd Signal Troop, AIF