DITZELL, Frederick

Frederick, the son of John and Annie Ditzell, was born in the Camden district of NSW. By 1903 the family were living near Inverell where his father was a farmer.  Frederick attended Ross Hill Public School and later Hawkesbury Agricultural College. He was appointed to the NSW Department of Agriculture in 1909 and the following year appointed Experimentalist at Cowra.  By 1914 he was an assistant Inspector of Agriculture for the North West District.

At the age of twenty five Frederick enlisted at Armidale NSW in January 1916 and joined the 35th Battalion. Following his promotion to 2nd Lieutenant in May, he sailed from Australia for England on HMAT A15 Port Sydney in September. Before his departure the Inverell Branch of the Agricultural Bureau organised a farewell function at which Frederick was presented with an inscribed gold watch and chain. He was also given a public farewell at the Council Chambers and presented with the Inverell Medal and socks.

In England, Frederick attended schools of instruction at Stratford and Tidworth before being sent to France in August 1917. Just a few weeks later he was killed in action on 12 October 1917 during the Battle of Passchendale. The Inverell Times newspaper 16 November 1917 reported he was a ‘sterling young man … with exceptional ability and he sacrificed a brilliant future in order to defend his country’.  

Lieutenant Ditzell is buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium. His name is recorded on the Inverell Cenotaph and Honor Roll and in 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell. His personal possessions were returned to his father at Inverell.