Edward George Chamberlain was born on 18 April, 1893 in Richmond, Victoria. He was living in Woonona with his family during the time of his enlistment.
Edward George Chamberlain, c1915.
Chamberlain embarked at Melbourne, Victoria on 7 March 1918 on the ship: R.M.S “Omronde.”
A story was shared by his son on the Thirroul scan and share day (June 16, 2013):
E.G Chamberlain left & the officer referred to in the story. c1918.
At some point of the excursion, they had approached a religious building of some sort and the officer accompanying my father had approached the building’s gate in hope of passing through. The Sister who had come to the gate to answer the bell did not speak English and dismissively waved him away. He called out after the Sister and showed her something he was wearing around his neck on a gold chain. The Sister grabbed the item around the officer’s neck and and seemed to be worshipping it. As they rode along, my father enquired:
“What was all that business about what you have around your neck about?”
His companion replied,
“That is a piece of the original Cross. As long as I am wearing it, no harm can befall me.”
Sometime later, the Officer’s camel shied at a wind-caught piece of paper and he took a heavy tumble.
“Little wooden Jesus wasn’t much help that time,” remarked my father.
His companion just laughed,
“It does not protect me for small matters.”
As a member of the 14th Battalion, they landed in France in September 1918.
They slept on the ground in the open on their first night at the front. The next morning, their hair was so stiff with frost that they could snap the hairs off but they were so tough after training in Egypt that nothing worried them.
Shelling started at day-break; the officer from the photograph caught a huge German shell all to himself. They had nothing to bury. He must have been wearing his protective cross when he was vaporised as it was not found among his kit.
There are records of Edward George Chamberlain at the Bulli Black Diamond Heritage Museum as well as the Illawarra Historical Group.
Photoalbum from “Duntroon” – series of photos taken during officer training.
“C & D” Comapny, 14th Battalion AIF.
“Xmas – New Year 1918-1919.”