Guest Blogger: Leonie Fanning, Pioneer Valley Museum, Mirani
Louis was the eldest son of Alfred and Naomi Fudge. He was born on the site of the Ingham tin mines and attended Mirani Primary School after his family moved to the district of Mirani, 37kms west of Mackay.
On 18 November, 1915 Louis Robert Fudge enlisted at 29 years of age with the Regimental number 1107 in the 1st Reinforcements, 41st Battalion. He embarked on HMAT A64 Demosthenes on May 17, 1916 in Sydney and disembarked at Devonport, England on July 20. Louis was attached to the Training Schools at Tidworth and Aldershot with the 11th and 13th Training Battalions as Extra Duty Pay (EDP) Corporal and EDP Sergeant from August 7, 1916.
A year later on 18 September 1917, Louis was detached from the permanent cadre of the 11th Training Battalion, reverted to the rank of Private and proceeded to France. He was taken on strength in the 41st Battalion and appointed Lance Sergeant on 8 October 1917. A month later he was promoted to Sergeant in the field. The 41st Btn was based in Flanders in the Hazebrouck area.
On 17 November 1917, Louis was admitted to the military hospital at Wimereux with Trench Nephritis, a condition causing inflammation of the kidneys. Shortly after, he was transferred to the military hospital at Chatham. On December 28, 1917 he was transferred to the 3rd AAH at Dartford.
On the 10th of March, 1918 Louis left England to return to Australia on the Durham Castle and Orontes, suffering from chronic nephritis. He arrived in Australia on May 12, 1918.
Lou was a great athlete excelling in football and tennis. He was in the first railway football side in 1919, and captained the Mackay side against Townsville in 1920. He was employed with the Queensland Railway until he retired. A keen fisherman, he moored his boat on the Pioneer River. He lived with his wife Ellie in Carlyle Street, Mackay.
Information to Pioneer Valley Museum by Brian Penny as part of the Pioneer Valley First World War Soldier display.
Blog article: Librarian Lynn Meyers describes the diaries of Louis Robert Fudge, State Library of Queensland