WENBAN, Alphonus Eric

Alphonus was the son of Alphus and Elizabeth Wenban of Millthorpe NSW.  His birth was registered at Blaney in 1896.  Whilst at school he was a member of the school cadets for four years. He joined the Postal Department and after passing the required examinations was transferred to Delungra Post Office in June 1914.

Following his enlistment at Lithgow NSW in December 1915 he joined the 17th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement. Before he left Australia on the ship HMAT A55 Kyarra in June he was promoted to Acting Corporal and then Acting Lance Sergeant.  He arrived in England in August, was transferred to the 33rd Battalion and then sent to France in November. 

Lance Corporal Alphonus Wenban was killed in action on 30 March 1918 at Hangard Wood, France.  He has no known grave and his name is inscribed on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France. His personal possessions which included 2 wallets, photos, letters, unit colours, diary, pipe and prayer book, were returned to his family.

The Leader (Orange) newspaper, 17 April 1918, recorded that ‘He was a great favourite with all who knew him and was highly musical…’ 

A brother Bertram also served in France where he was wounded and then returned to Australia in April 1918. The Wenban brothers have their names recorded on the Memorial Gates at Redmond Oval, Millthorpe.

At Delungra, Alphonus has his name inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll and on the new gates at Anzac Park.

Image: Courtesy IDFHG