(Service number 2339)
|First Rank||Driver||Last Rank||Sergeant|
|Date||26 August 1871||Place of Birth||Guilford, England|
|Date||17 September 1914||Age||43|
|Address at Enlistment||New South Wales, Australia|
|Previous Military Experience||8 years South Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Next of Kin||Mr J. Armstrong, Timaru, New Zealand|
|Medical Information||5 foot 10 1/2 in height, weight 13 stone 2 lbs, chest 40 inches, fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair with streaks of grey, scar on right wrist|
|Served with||Australian Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Australian Army Service Corps|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||10th Company Army Service Corps|
|Date||20 October 1914|
|Embarked From||Australia||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With||28th Company Army Service Corps|
|Last Unit Served With||28th Company Army Service Corps|
|Campaigns||Balkans (Gallipoli), Egypt, Western Europe|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||11 August 1917||Reason||Medically Unfit - bronchitis|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
21 November 1916 - admitted to 1st ANZ Medical Dressing Station - transferred 12th General Hospital 25 November; 2 December - transferred to 2nd Convalescent Depot Rouen - discharged to Base Depot Etaples 4 December; 13 February 1917 - transferred to England - 17 February moved to No2 Convalescent Depot Weymouth; 4 May 1917 - left England on HMAT Runic for Australia - arrived Melbourne 5 July 1917.
1917 - occupation unknown, Sydney; 1930 - labourer Nynan, NSW; 1933-1937 - station hand Cobar NSW; 1943 - occupation unknown Cook NSW.
|Date||24 November 1945||Age||74 years|
|Place of Death||Newtown, NSW, Australia|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Possibly Cobar, NSW, Australia|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Hugh was born in Guilford, England, on 26 August 1871, the eldest son of Hugh (1831-1900) and Eliza (1843-1916, nee Chitty) Youdale. The family came out to New Zealand in 1881 and farmed in the Claremont area. Hugh attended the Timaru Public and Claremont schools. On 8 April 1896, he married Margaret Jane Armstrong (1873-1906), who was the daughter of Mathew and Sara (nee Gillies) Armstrong, a local farming family. Hugh and Margaret (Maggie) had attended the local Claremont School together and were probably in the same class. Hugh farmed at Southburn near Timaru, and they had five children. Before the war he served in NZ (South Canterbury) Mounted Rifles for eight years and reached the rank of Corporal. The South Canterbury Museum holds a photograph of the 1902 shooting team, including Corporal Youdale.
Unfortunately Hugh’s wife, Margaret, died on 27 March 1906, and soon after Hugh disappeared, most probably to Australia. It is thought that he worked in isolated Winton in Queensland for a time then in New South Wales. He had no contact with his family after 1910 and at one stage they believed he was deceased. Family legend suggested either he had disappeared somewhere in outback Queensland on an expedition looking for the remains of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt or that he was killed during the war. There are however, records that do put together some pieces of his mysterious jigsaw puzzle life.
On 17 September 1914, after Hugh had assumed the name Hugh Dale, and enlisted at Marrickville, New South Wales, into the Australian Army. On his enlistment papers he was described as being Presbyterian, working as a driver, single (in fact a widower), born in Timaru, aged 39 (actually 43), 5 foot 10 ½ inches tall, weighing 13 stone 2 lbs, chest measuring 40 inches, of fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair with streaks of grey and a scar on his right wrist. He gave Mr J. Armstrong of Timaru, as his next of kin. Posted as a Driver into the 10th Company Australian Army Service Corps, he left for overseas service on 20 October 1914, bound for Egypt.
On 7 August 1915, he embarked from Alexandria for service at the Dardanelles. After his return to Egypt, on 3 March 1916, he was transferred to the 28th Company Army Service Corps. A month later, on 1 April he was promoted to Corporal, followed by further promotion to Sergeant on 12 June, before embarking to join the British Expeditionary Forces ex-Alexandria on 17 June, arriving in Marseilles on 24 June 1916. Taken sick on 21 November 1916, he was admitted to the 1st ANZ Medical Dressing Station and transferred to the 12th General Hospital on 25 November. On 2 December he was transferred to the 2nd Convalescent Depot at Rouen, and on 4 December, discharged to the Base Depot at Etaples. 13 February 1917, saw him transferred back to England, and on 17 February, moved into No 2 Convalescent Depot at Weymouth. On 4 May 1917, he left England, ex Devonport, on HMAT Runic, for return to Australia, and arrived back in Melbourne, for Sydney, on 5 July. On 11 August 1917, Sergeant Hugh Dale was discharged at Sydney from the Australian Army as being medically unfit, his disability being bronchitis. After war’s end, having served in Egypt, Gallipoli and Western Europe, he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal.
Hugh appears to have remained aloof from his family as his personnel file also contained copies letters from the NZ Government Insurance Department (1923) and from the Timaru law firm W H Walton (1926). Both letters were seeking information about his place of residence and record “he was seen about this time (1915 in Egypt) by a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who was of the opinion that he was then going under the name of Hugh Dale”. In 1926 there were also newspaper advertisements in Australian newspapers seeking his whereabouts. The letters probably related to an Armstrong family bequest that had been left to his deceased wife. It seems Hugh was still in Australia, living under his assumed name. His address was given as 244 Elizabeth Street, Sydney when he was granted a pension of 17 shillings and 3 pence per fortnight in August 1917. In 1930 Hugh’s address had changed to Nymagee Street, Nyngan, NSW, his occupation given as labourer. By 1933 his address had become PO Box 32, Peak Hill NSW. Then, from 1935 to 1937 it was Paddington Station, Cobar, New South Wales, but he was now occupied as a station hand. In 1943 he had returned to being a labourer, living at 146 Darley Street, Cook, New South Wales.
Hugh had remarried in 1922, to Irene Hamilton at Peak Hill, New South Wales, but had forgot to disclose his past! The couple had one son, Hugh Malcolm (1922-1989), who eventually came in contact with Youdales in New Zealand, allowing some of Hugh Youdale/Dale’s history to be ‘rediscovered’. Hugh died at Newtown, New South Wales, on 24 November 1945.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (28 October 2015); SCRoll submission from A McKenzie, 15 February 2016; Assorted records from ancestry.co.au (accessed July 2016); Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records at https://bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz; Youdale records (assorted) on Family search at https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3Ahugh~%20%2Bsurname%3Ayoudale~; Timaru Cemtery records at www.timaru.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/cemeteries/cemetery-search; "Claremont School" article, Timaru Herald 21 June 1883, via paperspast.natlib.govt.nz
- Hugh Youdale - biography by Alan McKenzie (pdf, 137.9 KB updated 03-May-2016)
- Great War Story - Timaru Herald 3 Sept 2016 - Hugh Youdale (pdf, 545.8 KB updated 26-Oct-2016)
Researched and Written by
Alan McKenzie; Tony Rippin (South Canterbury Museum); Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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