The AIF Project

Frederick Joseph DE LA REY

Regimental number2552
Place of birthRustenburg, Transvaal, South Africa
Age on arrival in Australia18
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressForest Road, Hurstville, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 6.5"
Weight179 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Mary Kesteven De La Rey, 89 Johnston Street, Annandale, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 May 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll29 March 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name38th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/55/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 9 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll38th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 5 September 1918

Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'Was born under the republican regime of the Transvaal. Automatically became a British subject on cessation of hostilities with Britain. Was a member of a leading Transvaal family of which the late General Jacobus De La Rey was his uncle. His father, Alfred De La Rey, a lesser leader, was killed in the British Boer War. Mother died 11 years previously.' (details from wife)
FateDied of wounds 29 September 1918
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Fate incorrectly recorded on Nominal Roll as Died of Disease.
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialDoingt Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot III, Row C, Grave No. 7), France
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Alfred and Christina DE LA REY; husband of Mary DE LA REY, Morts Road, Mortdale, New South Wales. Native of Rustenburg, South Africa

Military Medal

'Near CLERY-sur-SOMME during the battle of August 30th and 31st, this stretcher bearer showed great courage in closely following the attack and rescuing and dressing wounded under enemy barrage and intense machine gun fire. He was in charge of stretcher bearers and showed great organising ability, while his knowledge of the German language enabled him to employ prisoners in the work of carrying. Owing to his good work the clearance of all this Battalion's casualties was made in record time. His courage and resourcefulness were an object lesson to all.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 109
Date: 15 September 1919

Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 9 January 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 25 September 1917.

Wounded in action, 29 September 1918 (gun shot wound, head).

Died of wounds, 55th Casualty Clearing Station, 29 September 1918.

Statement, Red Cross File no 3050202C, 811 Corporal C. BARKELL, C Company, 38th Bn, 15 April 1919: 'I saw L/Cpl. De la Rey, C. Co. wounded in the head by M.G. Bullet in front of Bony abt. 9 a.m. in the same shell hole as myself whilst we were following the Yanks ... Short, stout, dark, well educated, a Sth African, a married man with one little girl, was a nephew of Genl. DelaRey [sic].'

Second statement, 448 Corporal H.A. DONOVAN, A Company, 38th Bn, 18 July 1919: 'Died of wounds at 55th C.C.S. He was one of our best stretcher bearers, and had done good work in organizing captured prisoners in this class of work[;] he had a good knowledge of the German language which he turned to good use in this respect.'

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DE LA REY Frederick Joseph
Red Cross File no 3050202C

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