Courtesy of Don Learmonth and Marjorie Mahoney
Private Samuel Donald Ross Learmonth
Pakenham State School Roll of Honour
Born: 8 June 1899 - Curyo, Victoria
Enlisted: 15 October 1918 aged 19
Unit: Recruit Depot Battalion (SERN: N/A)
Served: Broadmeadows Army Camp, Victoria
Died: 6 July 1984 - Colac, Victoria
Samuel was the younger brother of Alexander Learmonth Like Alex, he attended Pakenham State School before the family moved to Sunshine, west of Melbourne. Later, he worked as a farm labourer / farm hand on a property owned by the Borden family at Watchem in the central-west of Victoria (1). The Bordens were cousins of the Learmonths (2). Samuel enlisted with his parents’ consent at the Melbourne Town Hall on 15 October 1918, and was assigned as a private to the Recruit Depot Battalion at Broadmeadows. The War though, was rapidly drawing to a close, and Samuel never made it overseas. Due to the demobilisation of the AIF, he was discharged on Christmas Eve 1918 after 71 days service (3).
After the War, Samuel lived in Richmond for a period, working as a labourer. In 1933, he married Amelia Bottle, and raised a family. In the late 1930s, he was living again at Sunshine, working as a grinder at the Sunshine Harvester Works, where his father and brother Alex also worked (4). In March 1939, Samuel enlisted as a private in the Militia (5). He went on to serve with the Army as a private (V43648) in Australia during WWII (6). In 1950, Samuel and his family moved to a dairy farm at Irrewillipe, near Colac. During hard times on the farm, he travelled to Sunshine to work, returning home on the weekends (7). Samuel later sold the dairy farm and purchased a six acre property at Elliminyt. He also worked for the Colac Shire Council (8). Samuel died in 1984 and is buried in Colac Cemetery.
The assistance of Samuel’s son Donald Learmonth, daughter Marjorie Mahoney and grandson Andrew Mahoney is gratefully acknowledged.
(1) NAA B73 R29322 LEARMONTH SAMUEL DONALD ROSS
(2) (4) (7) & (8) Information provided by Donald Learmonth
(3) NAA B2455 LEARMONTH, SAMUEL DONALD ROSS
(5) NAA B4747 LEARMONTH/ SAMUEL DONALD ROSS
(6) WWII nominal roll - www.ww2roll.gov.au