Hugh Matheson Drummond

Rank: Private

Service Number: 1658

Regiment: 48th Infantry Battalion

Personal Information

Hugh Matheson Drummond was born in 1894 in Findon, South Australia. He attended Woodville State School. Before enlisting into the war he worked as dairy farmer. He had also served for 12 months in the Senior Cadets after which he transferred to the Citizens Militia in which he was still serving when he enlisted.

Enlistment Information

Hugh was only 21 years and 9 months when he enlisted on the 17th March 1916. He was 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighed 145 pounds. He had a medium complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Ralph started off in the 20th Reinforcements of the 27th Battalion, then changed over to the 48th Battalion. He and his brother both served in the 48th Battalion until their deaths.

At War

Hugh left Adelaide aboard the HMAT Aeneas on the 3.1th April 1916 and arrived in Egypt some time later. During his time in Egypt he was appointed Acting Lance Corporal. He left Egypt aboard the Franconia on the 6th June 1916 and arrived in Plymouth, England 10 days later. He trained for the next month or so in Rollestone and during his time there, while acting as an escort for prisoners, allowed them to escape. As a result of this action his punishment was to lose his rank and revert to a private soldier. He proceeded to France on the 30th July 1916 and was taken on strength by the 48th Battalion on the 9th August. He was wounded 4 days later during the Battle of Pozieres with gunshot wounds to the face. He spent some time in hospital at Etaples before returning to the battalion on the 23rd September. 6 weeks later he took sick with Rheumatic Fever and was again in hospital, this time in England. He recovered enough to return to France and his battalion on the 16th January 1917. He was sick once more with foot ulcers on the 10th March and spent more time in hospital in England before once more returning to the 48th Battalion on the 25th August 1917. On the 12th of October the 48th Battalion was involved on a failed attack on Passchendaele, and Hugh was wounded in action for the second time with shrapnel wounds to his right arm. This was the same day that Rufus Rigney was shot and captured. He spent much of the next three months recovering in England, some of this time in Hurdcott before returning yet again to the 48th Battalion on the 18th March 1918. On the 21st March, the Germans launched their Spring Offensive in an attempt to bring about the end of the war. They quickly recaptured ground that the allied forces had taken years to capture and on the 5th April they threatened the town of Dernancourt. The 48th Battalion was heavily involved in fighting and played a significant role in halting the advance for some time in this area. It was during this fighting that Hugh received his final injury, this time fatal. It was only one day before his younger brother, Ralph, joined the battalion. He was reported missing in action and was confirmed as killed in action on the 18th October 1918.

His remains were located after the war and he was buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Grave Reference X.G.10