Major Lionel CROMPTON 

3rd Machine Gun Battalion, AIF

Private, Regimental No. 3055.

Killed in Action, 24 December 1917, France.

   

Biographical Details

Born: 19 July 1896 at Pleystowe via Mackay, QLD, Australia.

Father: Major CROMPTON.

Mother: Marion WOOD.

Marital Status: Single.

Education: ?

Occupation: Sugar Cane Farmer.

 

Service and Enlistment Details

Enlisted on 23 September 1916 at Mackay, QLD.

Address at Enlistment: Finch Hatton via Mackay, QLD.

Embarkation Details: Embarked Overseas

on 7 February 1917 with 41st  Battalion,

7th  Reinforcements at Sydney, NSW on

Ship H.M.A.T. A18 "Wiltshire".

Cause of Death: Killed in Action on

24 December 1917 while serving with

3rd  Machine Gun Battalion in France at the age

of 21 years.

Burial place: Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France, Portion I, Row D,

Grave No. 6.

Next of Kin:  Mother, Mrs. Marion Crompton, Finch Hatton via Mackay, QLD.

Religion: Church of England.

Notes:

In a letter to the editor of the Daily Mercury on 18 May 1994, Mr Frank Rolleston a noted Mackay historian and ex servicemen related a story told to him many years before by  a Mr. Bob Renton who had witnessed the death of Major Crompton. Frank tells the story as such:-

“In an Anzac Day report (DM 25/4/1994) mention is made of Private Major Lionel Crompton, of Finch Hatton, who was killed on Christmas Eve during World War I in France.  I recall that the late Bob Renton of Eton many years ago told me how Crompton was killed.  I was also puzzled as to how Crompton as a major would be manning a machine gun, until I found out this was a Christian name and did not refer to rank.

 

Bob Renton said it was Christmas Eve 1917, and at night.  His section had their machine gun right in the front line and were in a trench.  It was bright moonlight and opposite a German machine gun which at intervals would fire bursts of bullets, apparently not at any particular target.  Crompton was a tall lad and every now and then would look over the top of the trench which Bob thought was a bit risky.

 

He  was going to tell Crompton to keep his head down, when he threw up his arms and fell back in the trench a bullet having hit him just below the eye.

 

Bob looked at his watch and it was just midnight.  Apparently Crompton was well known in Finch Hatton and I understand was a member of a local band.  About four weeks after his death a church service was held in Finch Hatton to his memory on Sunday, January 20, 1918 when the famous cyclone of that year hit.

 

The service was at night and the wind, increasing in strength at 9pm while the service was in progress, tore the roof off the church.

 

Commemorative Details

Memorials:

Panel 107,  Australian War Memorial;

Finch Hatton Digger Memorial;

Finch Hatton Railway Station Honour Board

Mackay Cenotaph;

Mackay Old Town Hall Honour Board;

 

Other Sources/Acknowledgements:  

Daily Mercury, 25 April 1994.

 


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  Mackay Historical Society


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