The AIF Project

Frederick Ernest Henry FITTS

Regimental number28
ReligionChurch of England
Address6 Greeves Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMrs C E Garrett, 6 Greeves Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria
Enlistment date14 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentSIG
Unit name29th Battalion, Headquarters, Signallers
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Vic, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Distinguished Conduct Medal (altered to Military Medal )

Recommendation date: 15 May 1918

Distinguished Conduct Medal (altered to Mention in Despatches)

Awarded, and gazetted, 'London Gazette', second Supplement, No. 30448 (28 December 1917); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 57 (18 April 1918).

FateReturned to Australia 28 March 1919
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Plaque in Victorian Garden of Remembrance

Military Medal

'On the night 7th/8th May, 1918, north of SAILLY-le-SEC, during an attack by this Battalion in conjunction with the Battalion on our left, all telephonic communication between attacking Company and Battalion Headquarters was severed by a heavy enemy barrage. The position was obscure and critical, as forward communications of Battalion on our left had also broken down, and it was uncertain as to where their right flank rested. Lance Corporal FITTS volunteered to repair the lines, and while doing so had to work under shell fire which cut the lines almost as soon as the repairs had been effected. During the whole night and early morning he worked to and fro under this barrage until completely exhausted, and by his fearlessness, skill and devotion to duty, succeeded in maintaining communication to the rear, so that we were enabled to convey vital information to the Commanding Officer of the Battalion on our left, and to keep Brigade fully conversant with the situation. This N.C.O. has been with the battalion since its inception, and has performed similar deeds of this description, particularly during our last winter on the SOMME.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 15
Date: 4 February 1919

Other detailsMedals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death5 April 1983

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