The AIF Project

Thomas BLACKWELL

Regimental number1511
Place of birthKurri Kurri New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationLabourer
AddressDeacon Street, Kurri Kurri, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Next of kinFather, T Blackwell, Deacon Street, Kurri Kurri, New South Wales
Enlistment date29 November 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name35th Battalion, Machine Gun Section
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/52/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 1 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll35th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Bar to Military Medal


Recommendation date: 20 May 1918

Military Medal


For operations July 1917.
Recommendation date: "Unspecified"

FateReturned to Australia 30 June 1919
Medals

Military Medal

'For gallant and devoted service during attack on enemy position before PASSCHENDAELE on October 12th, 1917. Private BLACKWELL was a No. 1 on Lewis gun. During the advance he showed great initiative and was regardless of personal danger. His platoon was, during the advance, held up by a machine gun. On his own initiative he worked to a flank, and by firing on the enemy position with his Lewis gun not only enabled his platoon to advance, but also captured the gun and crew of 4 men. At a later period during the advance the platoon was again held up by another machine gun. Private BLACKWELL volunteered to try to put the gun out of action. Leaving his Lewis gun with his No. 2 he seized a rifle from a wounded comrade and worked his way from shell hole to shell hole until he was close enough to rush the gun. He killed one German and captured the remaining 2 together with the machine gun, being wounded himself at this time. His courage and coolness greatly inspired the men of his platoon.'

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death21 June 1951
Place of burialKurri Kurri Cemetery

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