Frank POLLOCK #644

Service record, Frank Pollock, 4th Machine Gun Battalion (National Archives of Australia)

Indigenous Australian, Frank POollock, 4th Machine Gun Battalion

Frank Pollock was just 21 years old when he volunteered to serve with the First AIF in October 1916, 10 days later his older brother Walter also stepped forward. Frank was born in 1895 to David Pollock and Maggie Freeman (later Green) at Noondoo Station, located between Dirranbandi and Thallon, in south western Queensland.

Frank grew up on the land, working as a station hand. When he enlisted he was initially chosen to be one of the reinforcements for the 15th Infantry Battalion, however after several months he was reassigned to the 11th Reinforcements for the 13th Machine Gun Company.

Frank departed from Melbourne on board the troopship Ascanius in May 1917, arriving in the training camp at Codford, England in July where they underwent further training, missing the deadly winter conditions at the front lines of 1917/1918.

Frank proceeded to France in early April with the 13th Machine Gun Company which was consolidated with the 4th, 12th and 24th companies to become the 4th Machine Gun Battalion; he joined them in the field on 17 April 1918.

Just seven days later Frank was wounded by a bullet in his left leg, at Villers-Bretonneux. Mid morning orders were given for an attack on Villers-Bretonneux, the men were fed a hot meal, the guns were moved into position with the assistance of the 51st & 52nd Infantry Battalions, and in the evening the attack began.

The enemy replied with heavy machine gun fire from Villers-Bretonneux causing many casualties, including to gunner Frank Pollock. Frank was evacuated to England and admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Stourbridge. Frank was able to return to his unit in September 1918 and remained with them overseas well after the armistice was declared. He sailed for Australia in September 1919 and returned to work, firstly at Bullamon Homestead, then onto Noondoo Station where he remained for many years.

In 1922 Frank married Margaret Cameron McLeod, who sadly died in 1933, he later married Janet Shearer in 1938. Janet and Frank are both buried at the Dirranbandi General Cemetery, Queensland.

** Many thanks to Christine Cramer for her research into the Pollock brothers and their service in the First World War.

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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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