Samuel and Thomas were the sons of Thomas and Annie McArdle of Tingha NSW. Samuel, a twenty six year old Miner, enlisted at Armidale in August 1915. He became a member of the 1st Light Horse Regiment, 12th Reinforcement and left Australia for Egypt on the ship HMAT A72 Beltana in November 1915. He suffered some sickness during 1916 and 1917. Samuel wrote to his mother in November 1917 describing the charge on Beersheba saying … ‘We took it in fine style. It was a sight I will never forget, to see the Light Horse gallop into action and charge the town’. Samuel returned home in March 1919 and was medically discharged three months later.
Thomas was nineteen when he enlisted (with his parents permission) at Armidale in January 1916. He was one of several Tingha boys given an official farewell during which he was presented with a wrist watch from his fellow employees at Dunstan’s Federal Store. He joined the 33rd Battalion, D Company and sailed from Australian on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After arriving in England he wrote home describing part of the voyage and the Salisbury Plain Camp. He fought in France where in May 1917 he was promoted to Lance Corporal just seven days prior to being wounded at the Battle of Messines. Thomas was evacuated to England and admitted to 1st London General Hospital with gunshot wounds to his leg and wrist. Two months later he returned to France and was Killed in Action on 4 April 1918.
Thomas has no known grave. His name is inscribed on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France. His personal effects were returned to his mother in 1918 and included a photo wallet, cards, letters and four religious medallions. At Inverell Thomas has his name inscribed on the WWI Cenotaph and Honor Roll. In 1919 a memorial tree was planted for him in Kurrajong Parade. His name is also recorded on the Tingha Honor Roll and Cenotaph.
Photo: Thomas McArdle, AWM image P08065.001