RABBITT, Alexander and William

Alexander and William were the sons of Robert and Helen Rabbitt and lived at Trigamon Station, near Yetman, north of Inverell.  They both enlisted at Inverell within three weeks of each other in October 1915.

Alexander was a thirty year old Coach Driver and had been the Ashford mailman for two years prior to enlisting.  The staff at Inverell Post Office held him in high regard and presented him with a fur coat before his departure. His Mother and a sister gave him a parting gift of a watch.

Alexander became a member of the 18th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement and sailed from Australia for Egypt on the troopship HMAT A15 Star of England in March 1916. Whilst in Egypt he attended a School of Instruction and was transferred to the Machine Gun Depot before being sent to France at the beginning of June 1916. Private Rabbitt was Killed in Action at Pozieres on 7 August 1916 and has no known grave.  His name is inscribed on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France. A Memorial service was held for him at Yetman after his family received news of his death.

William, a twenty two year old Labourer, was a member of the Rocky Dam Rifle Club when he enlisted.  He joined the 6th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement and left Australia for Egypt on the ship HMAT A1 Hymettus in May 1916.  After arrival in Egypt he was ill with pneumonia then pleurisy.  He attended a School of Instruction and by September 1917 was appointed Driver.  The following year he was ill with Malaria.  Driver Rabbitt returned to Australia in June 1919.

Both Alexander and William have their names recorded on the Inverell and Yetman Honor Rolls. Alexander’s name is inscribed on the Inverell Cenotaph and a memorial tree was planted for him in Kurrajong Parade in 1919.