Monday, 12 March 2012

Private Morgan Adams

Morgan Adams
1895 - 1923

My grandmother's older brother, Morgan Adams was born at Essendon, Victoria on the 4th of March 1895 to John Adams and Mary Agnes, nee Morgan.

In 1915 he was a labourer living at 78 Walter Street, Ascot Vale with his mother.  His parents were separated and his father was living elsewhere at that time. Morgan was in the Citizens Military Force 58th Battalion.

Sincere thanks to my second cousins Tricia and Annette for the photo of Morgan and for allowing
me the honour of having his framed portrait from the family collection

Morgan enlisted as a private to the 5th reinforcements, 7th Battalion on the 14th January 1915 and embarked on the HMAT Hororata on the 17th April 1915.  His service record number was 1903.

Troops on board HMAT Hororata (A20) prior to departure.
Maker Barnes, Josiah
Place made Victoria, Melbourne, Port Melbourne
Date made 17 April 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright expired - public domain

On the 13th July 1915 he arrived at Gallipoli where on the 8th or 9th of August 1915, he received a gunshot wound to the forehead at Lone Pine and on the 11th of August he was admitted to the 15th Stationary Hospital at Mudros.
Morgan was transferred to the convalescent camp at Mudros on the 21st of August.

He rejoined his battalion at Gallipoli on the 25th of August 1915.

7th Battalion colour patch

From here on in his service records are fairly basic but I bet what he experienced wasn’t basic.

7-1-1916 Disembarked at Alexandria

26-3-1916 Embarked to join B.E.F (British Expeditionary Forces). ex Alexandria

31-3-1916 Disembarked at Marseilles

30-1-1918 To U.K on leave.

16-2-1918 Rejoined Unit from leave.

10-6-1918 With Unit

12-1-1919 Marched out for R.T.A

17-1-1919 Marched out to England - 1915 personnel

18-1-1919 Marched into No. 1 Com. Depot, Sutton Veny from France

19-2-1919 Transferred out to 2nd Tng? Brigade - Codford

19-2-1919 Transferred in from No. 1 Com. Depot - Sutton Veny

21-3-1919 Left England from Devonport to Australia on “Kildonian Castle”

7-5-1919 Disembarked at Melbourne

6-7-1919 Discharged from the A.I.F. at Melbourne, Termination of Period of Enlistment.

The family story was that Morgan died young due to being gassed in the war.
This must-have occurred somewhere in France as the Turks had no gas weaponry at Gallipoli.
There was no mention of it anywhere in his war service records.

This excerpt is from the 7th Battalion war diaries:

Dec 26, 1917, enemy shelled reserve coy - Denys Wood - during night with gas shells putting about 300 shells over, covering an area of about 500 sq yards
Nearly all men in Coy. suffering from the effects of the gas. Coy. relief, C Coy in frontline.

I don't know if Morgan was in that Company.

After his discharge from the army, Morgan married Isabelle O’Brien in 1920.
Isabelle was born in Beechworth in 1895 to parents Henry O’Brien and Caroline nee Methven.

In 1922, now a railway employee, Morgan and his wife Isabelle were living at 44 Erskine Street, North Melbourne.

On the 22nd of August 1923, Morgan Adams died at the Caulfield repatriation hospital.
Cause of death was Pyelonephritis - 3 years and Uraemia - 1 week.
One notable cause of this type of kidney disease is toxins.
These were most likely toxins from the gas he was subjected to in France.

He was buried at the Fawkner cemetery on the 23rd of August 1923.
Isabelle was buried there with him 55 years later on the 30th of November 1978.
She had married Henry Ernest Toll in 1926. Henry died in 1950 and is buried at Coburg cemetery.


  1. Such a good photo of him. I love that it is so casual.

  2. OMG! Our ancestors were together in the 7th Battalion.