Chapman Valley History

Herbert Melbourne Criddle

5650, Private Herbert Melbourne CRIDDLE
Unit: 16th Battalion, 18th Reinforcements, AIF

Where Born: Irwin, Dongarra, Western Australia
School: Dongarra State School, Dongarra
Address: Naraling, Upper Chapman
Occupation: Farmer, butcher
Religion: Church of England
Marital Status: Single
Parents: James and Emma Criddle nee Pell, Naraling, Upper Chapman
Description: Height 5’ 7”; weight 140 lbs; chest 33/36”; fresh complexion; grey eyes; dark brown hair

War Service: Herbert (Mel) was a member of the Light Horse at Dongara which was disbanded when he enlisted 12 Oct 1915 at Blackboy Hill, WA, aged 28 years 11 months. Five of his brothers also went to war. Harold, who enlisted 10 Jan 1916, was recruited into the 16th Battalion, 18th Reinforcements with Mel. They left with their battalion 18 Jul 1916, per HMAT Seang Bee from Fremantle, WA, marching in to Rollestone, England
10 Sep 1916. The battalion went on to Etaples, France one month later. Mel was admitted to the Casualty Clearing Station at Rouen, with trench feet 07 Dec 1916, transferring to the London General Hospital the next day. After two months recuperating, he went on furlough to Perham Downs, England 24 Feb 1917 rejoining his unit in France 28 Sep 1917. During the Third Battle of Ypres, on the muddy fields of Flanders, Mel from Naraling met his ultimate fate.
Killed in Action: 20 Oct 1917 at Polygon Wood, Belgium, aged 31 years. Mel has no known grave.
Memorial: Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium
Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Military Connections: Of the six brothers who went to war, Horace, Arthur and Sydney were hospitalised from wounds. David and Harold were both POWs in Germany and returned to Australia.
4733 Lieutenant Arthur George CRIDDLE, 11th Battalion, 15th Reinforcements, then 51st
2363 Private David CRIDDLE, 28th Battalion, 5th Reinforcements
5703 Private Harold CRIDDLE, 16th Battalion, 18th Reinforcements
6742 Private Horace John CRIDDLE, 16th Battalion, 22nd Reinforcements
6741 Private Sydney James CRIDDLE, 16th Battalion,22nd Reinforcements