Frederick MALTHOUSE #2187
Indigenous Australian, Frederick MALTHOUSE, 12th Machine Gun Company; 47th Infantry Battalion
Frederick (Fred) Donald Malthouse, was born at Warrina, South Australia in 1882 to Jack Malthouse and Annie Cummings. He was working as a stockman in Queensland when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF, age 33 in July 1915.
With Australian troops still on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Malthouse trained to be an infantry man at Brisbane, before embarking for Egypt on board HMAT Armidale from Brisbane in September 1915, with the other recruits assigned to the 4th Reinforcements for the 25th Infantry Battalion.
Early in 1916 Malthouse was admitted to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Cairo with influenza and remained there for almost 3 weeks. By the time he was discharged Australian Battalions were being re-organised to meet the changing needs of forces of war. He was initially transferred to the 47th Infantry Battalion, but soon after, whether by request it is not known, he was appointed driver in the 12th Machine Gun Company (MGC).
The 12th MGC sailed for France via Marseilles on the SS Kingstonian in June 1916; they travelled north by train to Abbeville, where they were immediately deployed for action. Malthouse pushed the boundaries and rules set by his commanding officers, and was regularly found to be Absent With Out Leave and charged with drunkenness several times.
In February 1917 Malthouse was remustered to the 47th Infantry Battalion and joined them in front line operations. In October 1917 Malthouse was severely wounded after received a gun shot to his left arm and elbow and was evacuated to England for treatment. After several months recuperation, he accidentally broke the same arm, having tripped over in camp.
No longer fit for active service, Frederick Malthouse was returned to Australia in July 1918 and was medically discharged. He returned to work in Hughenden in 1919 and married Emma Louise Thomas in 1928. In the 1940’s Fred and Emma were living at Mt Surprise where he was working as a miner. Frederick Donald Malthouse died in 1947 and is buried at Constin Street Cemetery, Mareeba.
Read more ...
- Service record: MALTHOUSE, Frederick
- Embarkation roll: 4th Reinf. 25th Infantry Battalion
- Unit War Diaries: 12th Machine Gun Company
- Unit War Diaries: 47th Infantry Battalion
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- 'Many served: AIF Aborigines', Reveille, 30 November 1931, p.22
- Scarlett, Philippa. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: the Indigenous response to World War One. Fourth edition, Indigenous Histories, Macquarie, ACT, 2018
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen [oral history]
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.