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FINCH, Eric Sloan (1896-1977)

FINCH, Eric Sloan (1896-1977)

Eric Sloan Finch was born on 22 May 1896, the youngest of three sons of Richard Sloan Finch and Agnes Isabella nee Paton. He was enrolled as a boarder at Geelong College on 7 February 1913 listing his address as Sydney Road, Beechworth.

He enlisted (No 13946) on 16 September 1915 as a Private. He embarked for Egypt and France from Melbourne aboard HMAT Kanowna on 1 April 1916. On 13 May 1916 he joined the 8th Field Ambulance, serving as a stretcher-bearer, Pegasus of August 1917 quoted from one of his letters:

'I have had some narrow escapes, of course nothing to skite about compared with some of the infantry men. I am still a stretcher-bearer; it is a very heavy and strenuous game and has taken a great deal out of me; but it is very honourable work and has to be done. I would be glad to be back and have a good game of football.'

He served throughout the last years of the war, and returned to Australia, embarking on 12 June 1919. The AWM Collection holds a studio portrait, taken by the Darge Photographic Company about 22 December 1915, of Pte Eric Stewart Anderson, 2 FAB; Pte David Vere Todd, 2 FAB; and possibly Pte Eric Sloan Finch, 8th Field Ambulance. His brother Pte Richard Paton Finch, 6 Battalion, served in France, returning to Australia on 18 October 1917.

Eric Sloan Finch died in 1977.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p.189 (citing Pegasus; National Archives of Australia; AWM DA13006).
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