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HEDGES, Herbert Melbourne (1899-1980)

HEDGES, Herbert Melbourne (1899-1980)

Herbert Hedges was born on the 8 August 1899, the youngest son of a Fremantle Federal Parliamentarian, William Noel Hedges and his wife, Eliza nee Paterson. He was educated at Mrs Austin’s Greenvale School, near Wickliffe, then as a boarder at Geelong College, attending there from 12 February 1913 to December 1917. At enrolment, his address was 'Dunbar', Sackville St, Kew.

He enlisted (No 39652) on the 29 October 1917 whilst a student at Melbourne University and embarked with 35th Artillery Reinforcements on SS Port Darwin on 28 April 1918 for England and France. He required his parents’ permission to leave Australia before attaining 19 years of age. His father wrote: 'He is very young and I would be glad if you can help him in any way. I will be over very soon and hope to see you.'

Herbert Hedges served on the Western Front as a gunner with the 14th Field Artillery Brigade through the final campaigns of the war. He returned to Australia on 23 July 1919.

In a curious newspaper item about passengers on the ship, Hobsons Bay the reporter noted: 'Mr and Mrs H M Hedges, who were married aboard the liner during the voyage from Colombo to Fremantle. They are going to South Australia where Mr Hedges will take up farming. Mrs Hedgees, who was Miss Joan Noreen Higgins before her marriage is the daughter of a doctor at Chichester (Sussex) and she had intended dis embarking at Colombo and taking a secretarial position there. Mr Hedges is the youngest son of Mr W N Hedges and he has been engaged in the automobile industry in England for three years before leaving for Australia'
Herbert Hedges died on the 18 March 1980 in Colac, Victoria.

His brother, William Stanley Hedges (1891-1961) was also educated at Geelong Colleger.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p 209 (citing Pegasus; National Archives).
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