Corporal Frederick Gordon Crisp 338

1st Australian Light Horse

Fred Crisp was among the first men in the Southern Highlands to enlist. Born in Bowning near Yass in 1895 he was just 19 when he signed up for the 1st Light Horse on the 25th August 1914. His military training had already begun two years earlier with the Citizen Military Forces in the 43rd (Werriwa) Infantry Regiment.

 

Fred lived with his parents, William and Mary Crisp, in Victoria Street Bowral and worked in the quarries on Mt Gibraltar as a stonemason. He was a member of the Loyal Lighthouse Lodge in Bowral and was described as “open-hearted, fearless and chivalrous, of irreproachable character, and of a generous and jovial disposition”.

 

Fred sailed from Sydney on the 20th October 1915 on HMAT Star of Victoria which was part of the first convoy of ships carrying the Australian and New Zealand Imperial Expeditionary Forces from Albany, Western Australia to Egypt. After training in Egypt, he landed at Gallipoli with his regiment on 12th May 1915. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his bravery in May and June 1915, including his daring rescue of a wounded comrade, Trooper Edward Donovan, on the 19th May. At Quinn’s Post, considered the most dangerous place on Anzac, he volunteered to go out under heavy machine gun fire to within 20 yards of enemy trenches to carry the wounded man to safety. Three months later, on 6th August, Fred received a gunshot wound in the chest and died on 8th August on board HMT Dunluce Castle on the way to hospital in Malta. He was buried at sea. Fred was one of eleven Southern Highlands boys killed during the fierce Battle of Lone Pine between the 6th and 9th August 1915, one of the most famous assaults of the Gallipoli campaign.

In June 1916, Corporal Frederick Crisp was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry in the rescue of Trooper Donovan. His name appears on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli.

Dunluce Castle Hospital Ship