Courtesy of Margaret Richards
Driver Edgar Reginald Huckson
Pakenham & District War Memorial & Pakenham State School Roll of Honour
Born: 20 October 1895 - Tylden, Victoria
Enlisted: 7 April 1915 aged 19
Unit: 21st Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement (SERN: 1713)
Served: Egypt, Gallipoli & Western Front
Died: 26 May 1959 - East Melbourne, Victoria
Edgar was a son of Annie and Alexander Grant Huckson. From the early 1900s, the family farmed in the Pakenham district, becoming “well-known and widely esteemed residents” before moving to Devon Meadows near Cranbourne (1). “Ted”, as Edgar was known in the family (1a), attended Pakenham State School from c.1902 with his older sisters Florence and Bessie. They had to travel a relatively long distance to school over what was described as “bad roads” (2). They also attended the Presbyterian Sunday School (3). Ted later became a keen local cyclist (4). After leaving school, Ted worked for a time with the Victorian Railways (5), but was a bread carter when he enlisted on 7 April 1915, aged just 19 (6). His sister Florence was married to Ernest Cameron, another Pakenham resident who had already enlisted, while another sister May later married Walter Gribble, another local Digger.
Ted was assigned to the 21st Battalion 2nd Reinforcement at Seymour and embarked for Egypt in July 1915. He subsequently served at Gallipoli. There, Ted was wounded in the knee and face by a shell explosion on 29/30 November 1915. He was partly buried in rubble, with only his legs protruding (7). Ted was evacuated to hospital in Malta. After returning to Egypt, he was sent to the Western Front with the 24th Battalion (8). In October 1916, Ted was transferred to the 6th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, where he served as a motorcycle despatch rider (9). In 1917 and 1918, Ted was admitted to hospital several times with various medical issues, including heart problems. He returned to Australia in May 1919 and was discharged at Melbourne in October 1919 (10). That month, Ted was also presented with a gold medallion at an official welcome home for soldiers in Pakenham (10a). He later became a foundry manager at the Huckson’s Diecasting complex in Springvale (11) which was established by his brother Henry and became an industry leader in its field (12). On a personal note, Ted was a keen fisherman and shooter (13). He never never married. Ted suffered from increasing ill-health, which he attributed to his war service. He died in 1959 aged 63 and was buried in Cranbourne Cemetery.
The assistance of Edgar’s nephew Alex Huckson and niece Margaret Richards is gratefully acknowledged.
(1) Dandenong Journal, 31/10/1945, p. 4 & 23/4/1947 p. 16
(1a) (9) (10) (11) & (13) Information provided by Alex Huckson
(2) PROV VPS 795/P0 Unit 779 Item 1359 - Letter from A Huckson to Education Department stamped 17/4/1902
(3) South Bourke & Mornington Journal 4/7/1906, p. 6
(4) Dandenong Journal 8/1/1914, p.2 & 26/3/1914 p. 3
(5) & (7) NAA B73 M62600 - Huckson, Edgar Reginald
(6) (8) & (10) NAA B2455 HUCKSON E R 1713
(10a) Pakenham Gazette 17/10/1919 p. 3
(12) Australian Academy of Technology, Sciences and Engineering (2001) p.880