A previously undiagnosed heart condition put paid to Logan Village storekeeper Alfred Hinds’ war service.
Alf, as he is named on the Canungra war memorial, was already 37 years old when he enlisted on September 28, 1916.
His service record shows that Private Hinds was initially marked for the 8th and then 9th reinforcements of the 52nd Battalion, before being allocated to the 7th reinforcements of the 42nd Battalion.
Beaudesert-born, Alf named his mother, Mary Ann Hinds of Jimboomba, as his next-of-kin before embarking for overseas service on February 7, 1917, leaving Sydney on the HMAT Wiltshire.
Alf became ill with bronchitis en route and, on arrival in England on April 11, was taken off the ship on a stretcher and admitted to the nearest hospital, Devonport Military Hospital, with pleurisy.
After five weeks in bed, he was discharged from hospital to the Perham Downs depot, Salisbury, classed as unfit, on May 5.
A medical report prepared at nearby Fovant on November 14, said Alf had an enlarged heart and that the condition was pre-existing.
“For over 10 years has been short of breath on exertion,” it read.
“On the voyage had an attack of bronchitis and pleurisy. Was in hospital on the boat and then at Plymouth for 5 weeks. Much shorter of breath since.”
A month later, a handwritten note was added to Alf’s file, stating: “Service has not injured him.”
Alf was classified as “permanently unfit for general service but fit for home service in Australia”.
On February 1, 1918, a year after he had left Australia for England, Alf left England for Australia on the HT Balmoral Castle.
He arrived in Sydney on March 28 and, after travelling overland to Brisbane, was discharged from the Army on April 30.