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STRICKLAND, Frederick Phillip David (1875-1950)

STRICKLAND, Frederick Phillip David (1875-1950)

Frederick Strickland was born on 5 October 1875, the son of an Old Collegian, Reverend Frederick Phillip Strickland and Ann Alexander nee Barrie. He was enrolled as a boarder at Geelong College in 1891. At the time his address was listed as Glen Elgin near Drouin. He subsequently moved to Western Australia with his parents in 1893. At College, he was a member of both the 1st Cricket XI and 1st Football XX in 1891.

Following the outbreak of the Anglo-South African War, he embarked as a Private for the War with the 3rd Bushmen’s Mounted Infantry (Western Australia). He was severely wounded at Wolventein on 14 February 1901, requiring evacuation to Australia. He re-embarked as a Lieutenant with 4 Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse, remaining with yhat unit until the cessation of hostilities. On his return from South Africa he married Lilian Elizabeth Maud, and worked as a civil servant in Western Australia until he re-enlisted in the AIF as a 2nd Lieutenant, and went with 11 Battalion to Egypt on HMAT A11 Ascanius on 20 October 1914. He was promoted Lieutenant on 1 February, and was at the Landing on 25 April 1915.

The war historian, Bean mentions him several times on the day of the Landing, at Gaba Tepe:
'Lt Rafferty¹, whose platoon was to have escorted the Indian Mountain Battery on the 400 Plateau, Clarke² ordered to move to the left and silence the machine-gun. Rafferty reminded him that his orders were different. 'I can’t help that,' was the reply. Lt Strickland, with a platoon of the 11th, which had landed with the battleship tows, had been ordered to proceed along the edge of the beach and combat the same fire. Rafferty was to work next to him, inland. . . Lt Strickland with a platoon of the 11th worked along the beach itself; Rafferty made his way across the flats beside the beach. ... (Rafferty’s) men, and also Strickland’s from the beach, began to double over the level (towards Fisherman’s Hut). A very heavy fire was opened on them. Of Rafferty’s party twenty fell in crossing it; twelve lay there dead. But Rafferty, Sgt Skinner³, and six others reached the low rise on the far side. Here they were fairly sheltered. If any Turks remained in the trenches on top of No 1 Post, the hill was too steep for them to see this party at its foot.'

Strickland was evacuated ill to Malta by HS Gloucester Castle on 14 July 1915, and convalesced in Florence. He was promoted Captain on 20 February 1916, and transferred to 4 Pioneer Battalion on arrival in France on 16 March 1916, where he was wounded in action. He served with that unit until his dismissal from His Majesty’s Forces by General Court Martial, for misappropriation of funds. On his return to Australia, embarking on HMT Ascanius on 9 February 1919, he appealed successfully against his dismissal.

The AWM Collection holds a group portrait of all the original officers and men of the 11 Battalion, 3rd Brigade, AIF, donated by Colonel K McLennan MBE. The group of over 800 soldiers are spread over the side of the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) near Mena camp. Captain C A Barnes recorded in his diary: ‘After Church this morning the whole Battalion was marched up to the Pyramid (Old Cheops) and we had a photo took or at least several of them.’ Amidst the training undertaken by the men, there was time on Sundays, days off and evenings when leave was granted to visit local sites of interest such as the pyramids, the Citadel and the many mosques in Cairo. The trams struggled to keep up with the demand and local transport such as carriages were heavily used. The cafes and restaurants of Cairo were also heavily patronised.'

Frederick Strickland married Ellen Agnes Norma Lyall, widow of John Lyall, of Jarnadup, Western Australia, and daughter of Donald Norman and Charlotte MacLeod, of Yannarie, Portland.

Frederick Phillip David Strickland died on 25 February 1950.

His brother, Lennard John Strickland (1880-1949), was also educated at Geelong College.

¹Rupert Anstice Rafferty, DSO, born Bedford, England, a schoolmaster before enlistment, he commanded 11 Battalion 1918-1919.
²Colonel Lancelot Fox Clarke, born Melbourne, enlisted Hobart, served with the 4th VIB in the Anglo-Boer War, he was awarded a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, gazetted 23rd April 1901, killed early on the day of the Landing, aged 57, buried Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli - Grave I.B.13.
³Archer Angus Skinner, born Inverloch, Victoria, of Ulverstone, Tasmania.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p322 (citing C E W Bean, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18: Vol.I The ANZAC Story; National Archives; The Pegasus; AWM A02875).
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