6078 Private Edward (Ted) Theodore William FAEHRMANN
Edward was born at Woodside (SA) on 30 May 1887, the eldest of two children of Theodore Christoph Otto FAEHRMANN and Anna Pauline FAEHRMANN (nee Mangelsdorf). His given occupation was as a carpenter, he was single and living at Murray Bridge when he enlisted in the AIF on 29 August 1916.
After his initial training at Mitcham, Ted was posted to the 17th Reinforcement Unit of the 27th Infantry Battalion on 17 October. A short stint of leave was followed by the Unit’s embarkation aboard the HMAT A19 Afric from Port Adelaide on 7 November 1916. During the voyage, Ted was admitted to the ship’s hospital on 5 December for five days with ‘infected lungs’ and again on 25 December with mumps. The men disembarked at Plymouth, England on 9 January 1917 and immediately entrained for the sprawling Australian base at Rollestone.
The training undertaken was intense and done under the supervision of battle-hardened veterans from the Front. Some leave was given during this time, however Ted overstayed a leave pass and was charged with being AWL from 1200 hours on 19 March 1917 until 1700 on 20 March. The penalty awarded was two days confinement to barracks and a forfeiture of one day’s pay.
On 22 May 1917, Pte FAEHRMANN embarked for service in France and after a stint at the 2nd Divisional Base Depot, he arrived at the 27th Infantry Battalion on 12 June, at that time encamped at Senlis undergoing training.
The previous month had been particularly bad for the 27th – the Battalion has lost 26 soldiers killed, 69 wounded. On 16 June, the Battalion moved to Brickfields, on the Bapaume-Merricourt road. Most of July was spent training with only a few night operations being mounted; August also saw a month of training in preparation for the forthcoming offensive around Ypres. By this time, the Division was near Steenvorde, Belgium and it was on 20 September when the Battalion moved to the front line at Westhoek.
They moved at night in platoon formation, and in single file and a 100-yards between platoons in order to minimise casualties from shellfire. Considerable artillery fire fell during their advance at Chateau Wood but there were no casualties. Victory here was followed up with the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October, in which the 27th Battalion also fought.
Rushed back to France in April 1918 with the rest of the Australian forces to counter the German Spring Offensive, the 27th Battalion fought long and hard. It took part in the major battles that forced the Germans back. It attacked around Morlancourt on the night of 10 June; acted in a supporting role during the battle of Hamel on 4 July; and was in the first wave at the battle of Amiens on 8 August. On 8 August, the Battalion captured 9 artillery pieces, 25 machine guns and over 200 prisoners.
The Battalion’s last actions of the war were fought as part of the effort to break through the Beaurevoir Line in the first week of October 1918; on 11 November, the day the Armistice was declared, the Battalion was in billets in the Berteaucourt-Yzeux area. Later in the month, it moved to Le Grand-Fayt, about 60 kms north-east of Saint Quentin. On 23 January 1919, Ted was transferred to the 20th Army Service Corps Company, part of the 2nd Divisional Train, which was responsible for logistics and supply to the Division.
At war’s end there was an acute shortage of ships necessary for the repatriation of soldiers to their homes countries. Ted was granted leave to England and arrived there on 31 May 1919; five days later he was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital suffering from cellulitis to the left leg and was hospitalised for a month. He spent the rest of his time in England carrying out general duties until embarking aboard the Euripides on 7 September 1919. Disembarking at Port Adelaide on 18 October, Ted was demobilised on 4 December 1919.
Ted later married Ivy Beatrice WHITEHEAD and there were eight children of the marriage. Edward Theodore William FAEHRMANN died in Murray Bridge on 16 April 1952.
Service file of 6078 Pte Edward Theodore William FAEHRMANN, downloaded from the National Archives of Australia ( www.naa.gov.au ).
Australian War Memorial database ( www.awm.gov.au ).
- DOLLMAN and H.M. SKINNER, The blue and brown diamond: History of the 27th Battalion (A.I.F.) on active service, (Adelaide: Lonnen & Cope (1921).
Compiled by the Victor Harbor RSL History Research Team, February 2016.