The AIF Project


Regimental number2082
Place of birthBelfast, Co Antrim, Ireland
AddressGPO Perth, Western Australia
Marital statusWidower
Age at embarkation37
Height5' 4"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinChildren, Elsie, May and Bob Diffen, c/o Parkerville Home, Parkerville, Western Australia
Enlistment date5 February 1915
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name16th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/33/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 26 April 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll4296
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll5th Training Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
FateReturned to Australia 6 May 1919
Discharge date19 July 1919
Other details

War service: Egypt (16th Bn), England (Australian Flying Corps).

No record of movements and conduct whilst serving in the 16th Bn. Form B 103 states: 'Services no longer required. Order General Officer Commanding, Egypt'. Returned to Australia 31 October 1915. This is in response to a letter from the Officer Commanding 2nd Training Bn, Zeitoun, dated 13 October 1915. The letter states 'in the habit of continually getting drunk and absenting himself without leave ... I shall be glad if you will make early arrangements for his return to Australia as being useless.'

Returned to Australia embarking on the 'Aeneas'.

Re-enlisted, Sydney, New South Wales, 15 May 1917. Embarked Melbourne, 21 June 1917; disembarked Liverpool, England,, and marched in to Pioneer Training Bn, Fovant, 26 August 1917. Found guilty of overstaying leave from midnight, 1 November 1917, to 2030 hours, 4 November 1917: awarded 6 days' No. 2 Field Punishment and forfeited 9 days' pay. Marched out for duty with Pioneers at Devises, England, 9 November 1917.

Taken on strength of the Australian Flying Corps, Training Depot, Wendover, 24 February 1918. To 5th Training Squadron, Shawbury, 8 March 1918. Admitted to Military Hospital, Rees Heath, Salop (balaritis), 18 March 1918. Struck off strength from Rees Heath Military Hospital, being in hospital exceeding 28 days, 17 April 1918. To Minchinhampton, 17 April 1918.

Found guilty, 26 August 1918, of (1) breaking out of Barracks at Minchinhampton Aerodrome when his duty required him to be in Barracks; (2) while under open arrest, at Minchinhampton Aerodrome, broke out of Barracks on 25 August 1918; (3) being absent without leave from 0614 hours, 26 August 1918, to midnight, 1 September 1918: awarded 28 days' detention; forfeited 35 days' pay. Admitted to Lewes Detention Barracks, from 5th Training Squardron, 10 September 1918. Discharged from Lewes Detention Barracks and marched in to 5th Training Squadron, Minchinhampton, 26 September 1918. The unexpired portion of the sentence (4 days) remitted as from 26 September 1918, for good conduct. To Australian Flying Corps Training Depot, 20 December 1918. Found guilty, 6 April 1919, being absent without leave from 0900 hours, 6 April 1919, to 1900 hours, 12 April 1919: awarded 10 days' forfeiture of pay.

Commenced returned to Australia on board 'Kaiser-i-Hind', 6 May 1919. Sick at sea (pyrexia), 25 May 1919. Discharged, Sydney, 19 July 1919.

Medal: British War Medal.
SourcesNAA: B2455, DIFFEN Joseph

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