Albert Thomas Corkett

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CORKETT, Albert Thomas

Service no: 1093 [1]

Place of birth: Orange, 1879

Address: Harris Street, Cessnock

Occupation: Carpenter

Next of kin: Mary S Corkett (wife), Harris Street, Cessnock

Date of enlistment: 15 February 1916

Place of enlistment: Maitland

Age at enlistment: 37

Fate: Embarked HMAT Hororata, Sydney, 2 May 1916. Proceeded overseas to France 24 April 1917 Taken on strength from 9th Machine Gun Coy Reinforcements. Wounded in action Belgium 2 October 1917. Died of wounds 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, Belgium, 2 October 1917.

Date of death: 2 October 1917

Buried: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium, Plot XIV, Row F, Grave 11A

A war grave in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium is inscribed:

Greater Love Hath No Man’s Daddy – At Rest

The grave bearing this inscription is that of Albert “Bert” Thomas Corkett, husband and father of three young children. He died as a result of injuries sustained in Belgium on 2 October 1917.

Bert Corkett was born in Orange in 1879 and was one of a large family born to Jonah and Mary Corkett. His schooling was in Orange and on leaving he was apprenticed to builder James Chalmers for five years. He was also one of Orange’s foremost footballers. In 1907 he married Mary Sophia Ballard at Maitland and they had three children Irene, James and Nora.

Bert enlisted at Maitland on 15 February 1916. On 2 May 1916 Private Corkett embarked at Sydney via HMAT Hororata for England where he was transferred to the 9th Machine Gun Company. On 24 April 1917 he proceeded to France and was taken on strength from the 9th Machine Gun Company Reinforcements. On 2 October 1917 Bert sustained serious injuries: shell wounds and a compound fracture of the right leg. He died at the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in Belgium on the same day.

The Cessnock community took Bert’s young widow and her three children to heart. Volunteers constructed a dwelling consisting of a shop front and three rooms for them to live in. Mary had plans to run a small business from the shop to support her family.

Albert Thomas Corkett is commemorated on the Orange Public School Honour Roll, the Orange East Public School Honour Roll, the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll, on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph and on panel number 177 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte A Corkett”; it was donated by Reg Green. Very few of the trees are still standing today.

Albert Thomas Corkett was the brother of Harold William Corkett, who died of wounds sustained during the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915. Campbell Joseph Edwards (who had married their sister Ivy) was also thought to have been killed in action. He was later found in a German prisoner of war camp and returned to Australia in 1919.

  • Sharon Jameson and Margaret Nugent, January 2019
Albert Corkett with his wife Mary and their children James Edward, Nora and Irene. Image courtesy Lijssenthoek Project
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