Patrick Benjamin (‘Paddy’) Woodbridge

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Patrick Benjamin (‘Paddy’) Woodbridge. Image courtesy Daily Telegraph.

WOODBRIDGE, Patrick Benjamin (‘Paddy’)

Service no: 2000 [1]

Place of birth: Grenfell, 10 February 1890

Address: Orange, later 171 Prince Street, Orange then 1 Clinton Street, Orange

Occupation: Shearer

Next of kin: Benjamin Woodbridge (father), Yarravale, Marsden Road, Grenfell

Date of enlistment: 8 April 1915

Place of enlistment: Mitchell, QLD

Age at enlistment: 25

Fate: Embarked HMAT Kyarra A55, Brisbane, 16 April 1915. Received a gunshot wound to the right hand 8 August 1915. Admitted to No. 1 General Hospital 20 August 1915 with crushed fingers. Transferred to 2nd Auxiliary Convalescent Hospital, Heliopolis, 25 August 1915. Returned to duty 4 October 1915. Admitted to 2nd Western Hospital, suffering a gunshot wound to the left hand, 14 August 1916. Discharged from hospital 13 September 1916. Admitted to Bulford Military Hospital 9 December 1916. Discharged from 1st AD Hospital 16 February 1917. Returned to Australia 20 July 1919.

Date of death: 8 June 1957

Buried: Warren Cemetery

Patrick Benjamin Woodbridge was born in Grenfell in 1890, the first son and sixth child of Benjamin and Mary Ann Woodbridge. By the time World War One was declared the family had relocated to Orange. Patrick – or ‘Paddy’ as he became known – and his younger brother, John, were working as shearers in northern Queensland; another brother, William, was a boundary rider in the same area.

The three brothers enlisted in Queensland within a few months of each other and embarked together from Brisbane in April 1915, all privates in the 15th Battalion bound for Gallipoli.

On 8 August, just three weeks after arriving in Gallipoli, Paddy sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. He was hospitalised the following week with crushed fingers. Private Woodbridge spent several months recovering in the 2nd Auxiliary Convalescent Hospital in Heliopolis before returning to duty in October 1915. In August the following year Private Woodbridge again suffered a gunshot wound, this time to the left hand.

Private Woodbridge spent the remainder of the war in England and France; he returned to Australia in July 1919. Paddy lived in Orange, where he worked as a labourer. In 1934 he married Elsie Thompson and in about 1940 the couple moved to Warren. Paddy died in June 1957; he is buried in Warren Cemetery.

Paddy’s younger brothers, John Michael Paul ('Jack') Woodbridge and William Isaac (‘Bill’) Woodbridge both died during WWI, John was killed in action on 8 August 1915; William was wounded on 6 August 1915; he died six days later.

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