Benjimin BRIDGEWATER #4737

Benjimin Bridgewater, The Queenslander Pictorial, 1916

Indigenous Australian, Benjimin BRIDGEWATER, 9th Infantry Battalion

Benjimin Bridgewater was born in Cloncurry in 1885 and enlisted to serve for his country in September 1915. At the time he was employed as a minor at Mount Leyshon near Charters Towers, and was also a well known amateur boxer.

Bridgewater embarked for Egypt in March 1916 aboard HMAT Commonwealth and was admitted to hospital on arrival with mumps contracted during the voyage. He sailed for England in July and then embarked for France in August 1916 to begin his 'active service' in the front lines.

Bridgewater became a victim of the damp and unsanitary conditions of the trenches and was evacuated for treatment with 'trench feet' to England. Having returned to his unit in October 1917 the 9th Battalion were serving in Belgium, when was severely wounded in action 23 March 1918. Invalided to England, he was treated for severe gun shot wounds to his face and right arm, he recovered, to be again reunited with his unit in France in May 1918.

Bridgewater was wounded in action a second time in August 1918 and was evacuated to hospital in England, with gun shot wounds to his right shoulder. He recuperated in hospital but was considered no longer fit for active service and he was returned to Australia 21 December 1918 where he was medically discharged.

Benjamin Bridgewater married Rose Mary Williams in 1920, they had four children, two who sadly died in infancy. He later worked for the Post Master General's Department, as a linesman and died in July 1957, age 72.

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The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.

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