BATES, Albert Edward

Albert, the son of William Henry and Christina Bates, was born in 1884, educated at Sydney University and served four years with the 4th Regiment at Newcastle NSW. Prior to enlisting in 1918, he lived at Ashford, north of Inverell, where he served as the Presbyterian Minister for approximately four years. He was appointed to the Chaplains' Corps and sailed for England from Melbourne on SS Zealandic on 5 October 1918.

In December Albert became a Chaplain at the 3rd Australian Auxilliary Hospital at Dartford. This 1400 bed hospital cared for soldiers suffering war related nervous conditions so Albert's work ministering to these men would have been quite challenging.

Two months after arriving in England, Albert was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia and died a few days later. He was given a full military funeral with his polished Elm coffin covered by the Australian Flag. Chaplain Bates was buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England. The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 February, 1919, described him as '... a fearless preacher, an energetic member of the Fellowship Association and a strong advocate of temperance...'

Albert's personal effects were returned to his wife who had remained at the Manse at Ashford. Included were his gold presentation watch, a typewriter and a No2 folding Autographic Brownie Camera.

At Inverell a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade for Chaplain Bates and his name inscribed on the Honor Roll and Cenotaph. At Bonshaw his name is also inscribed on their Honor Roll.

Photo: Australian War Memorial Image PO8549.006