Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trove Tuesday - Was he the youngest soldier?

Frederick Cecil Forsyth-Cheffins enlisted on 21 Jun 1915.
He was born on 26 April 1901.

Do the maths – that makes him 14 years and 2 months old when he enlisted.

This article in the Sydney Morning Herald claims he was the youngest NSW soldier at the front.

An entry in the SCEGS (Shore school) register.

He stated he was 16 years old on his attestation papers. 
His father was Captain F Forsyth-Cheffins, the attesting officer on many soldier’s service records.

Bugler Cheffins, 472, arrived at the Gallipoli Peninsula on 16 August 1915 and soon after this he was hospitalised with bronchitis and dysentery.

Before his 15th birthday, in mid-March 1916, he boarded a ship to return to Australia. His discharge (medically unfit) from the AIF on 13 July 1916 was well before he had reached the legal age to enlist.

Although Bugler Cheffins was born in Bathurst and lived in Northern NSW and Queensland, he is written up in our book because at the time of his enlistment, his parents lived in Gordon NSW (in Ku-ring-gai).
You will find many such soldiers in our volumes.

Frederick’s biography will be published in Volume 1 of our Rallying the Troops Anzac Centenary project.
We are excited that Dr Brendan Nelson will launch this first volume on Saturday 26 July 2014.

We welcome enquiries, comments, photos related to any soldiers with links to Ku-ring-gai. If you would like to join our research and writing team, please email khs@khs.org.au

Watch this blog for more details of our launch and for your chance to pre-order the books.

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