Frederick MALTHOUSE #2187

Frederick Malthouse

Indigenous Australian, Frederick MALTHOUSE, 12th Machine Gun Company, 47th Infantry Battalion.

Frederick Donald Malthouse, was born at Warrina, South Australia in 1882 to Jack and Annie. He was working as a Stockman in Queensland when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF, age 33 in July 1915.

With Australian troops still on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Malthouse trained to be an infantry man at Brisbane, before embarking for Egypt on board HMAT Armidale from Brisbane in September 1915, with the other recruits assigned to the 4th Reinforcements for the 25th Infantry Battalion.

Early in 1916 Malthouse was admitted to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Cairo with Influenza and remained there for almost 3 weeks.

By the time he was discharged the Australian Battalions were being re-organised to meet the changing needs of forces of war. He was initially transferred to the 47th Infantry Battalion, but soon after whether by request it is not known, he was appointed Driver in the 12th Machine Gun Company.

The 12th MGC sailed for France via Marseilles on the SS Kingstonian in June 1916. They travelled north by train to Abbeville, where they were immediately deployed for action.

Driver Frederick Malthouse pushed the boundaries and rules set by his commanding officers, and was regularly found to be Absent with out Leave [AWOL] and several times charged with drunkenness.

In February 1917 Malthouse was remustered to the 47th Infantry Battalion and joined them in front line operations. In October 1917 Malthouse was severely wounded after received a gun shot to his left arm and elbow and was evacuated to England for treatment. After several months recuperation, he accidentally broke the same arm, having tripped over in camp.

No longer fit for active service, Frederick Malthouse was returned to Australia in July 1918 and was medically discharged. He returned to work in Hughenden in 1919 and married Emma Louise Thomas in 1928. In the 1940’s Fred and Emma were living at Mt Surprise where Fred was working as a miner. Frederick Donald Malthouse died in 1947.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump  |  QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland