• Frederick Neville Lipscomb

Army / Flying Corps
  • 19th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Lieutenant

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  • Military Cross (MC)
  • Birth

    Hornsby, NSW, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

Stories and comments
    • LIEUT Frederick Neville Lipscomb
    • Posted by lipscomb, Monday, 8 August 2016

    (Lieutenant) Frederick Neville Lipscomb was born on 28th December 1892 at Normanhurst, the son of William and Jessie Lipscomb. Before the war he trained as a wool-classer and worked at Kaludah sheep station near Cooma. Fred enlisted on 5th July 1915 and trained at Liverpool (Sydney) as a Private Soldier in 19th Battalion Reinforcements. He embarked on 30th September 1915 on the Troopship Argyleshire, bound for Egypt via Colombo. After further training in Egypt he joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in March 1916 and moved to Marseilles via Troopship Haverford. He served with 19th Battalion at Armentieres, and then Pozieres. He was wounded several times and hospitalised at Wandsworth Military Hospital, England. He was later again hospitalised with severe enteric gastro-enteritis. In December 1916 Fred was promoted in the field from Private to Second Lieutenant and subsequently (in May 1917) to Lieutenant. On 8th April 1918 Fred and a fellow officer, Lieut P.V. Storkey, led some men on a flanking attack on the German lines at Hangard Wood, near Amiens. “Shouting as if the whole battalion was following (Storkey) at once led a charge upon the rear of the Germans, himself at one flank of his ten men, Lipscomb at the other… The Germans in the nearer trench at once put up their hands, but those in the farther ones hesitated… On the first sign of hesitation to obey his order to surrender …, (Storkey) immediately shot three with his revolver ... and some men rolled a couple of bombs into the trenches. In all 30 Germans were killed and the remainder, 3 officers and about 50 men, were made prisoner.” (C.E.W. Bean, Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18, Vol V). Storkey was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for this action, and Fred Lipscomb received the Military Cross (MC). Unfortunately Fred was again wounded in this action, and his wounds (to his knee) rendered him unfit for further service. But while recuperating in England he met a British nurse, Isobel May Ward. Fred and Isobel married, and came to Australia in July 1918. Fred was discharged from the Army in May 1919. Fred and Isobel lived briefly in Gunnedah, but Fred found that the shrapnel wound on the knee prevented him from taking on farm activities. So they moved back to Sydney and lived in Roseville for a time. He served as State Secretary of the newly formed RSSILA (later renamed the Returned Soldiers League) from 1921-24 but resigned in order to accept an appointment at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, London, where he advised prospective migrants on matters relating to Land Settlement, etc. On returning to Australia he became the RSL representative on the Soldiers’ Settlement Reappraisement Board. Despite continuing ill-health, he was appointed Federal Land Valuer of the Southern District for the Federal Land Tax Department, and moved to Goulburn in 1929. He served as OC and battalion 2IC of the Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC) in Goulburn during WWII. He remained in Goulburn until his death of heart failure on 25th June 1952 (aged 59). Fred and May Lipscomb had three children: Margaret (later Wyatt), John (who served with distinction during the New Guinea campaign in World War II), and Pamela (later Murray).