Sidney Thomas Batty
Dr/Corporal, Australian Army Medical Corps
Age 9, Class I Middle: 'Character and progress very good indeed.'
Sidney Thompson Batty was a student at Alleyn’s until 1910. During this time, he lived at 23 Kelmore Grove, East Dulwich with his parents and three brothers. After leaving school, he moved to Myrtle Beach, Southern Australia where he found work as a farmer. When Britain declared war in August 1914, the colonies of the Empire were also committed to the war effort. This saw a number of British men who had moved abroad sign up to fight in the Imperial Forces. Sidney was 20 years old when he decided to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force in January 1915. He embarked from Australia a few months later as part of the 7th Australian Field Ambulance, a mobile medical unit that served the 2nd Australian Division. Sidney saw service at Gallipoli in 1915 before transferring to the Western Front where he served until the end of the war. During his time with the AFA, Sidney worked in dangerous and unsanitary conditions causing him to be taken ill on several occasions. More than once he was hospitalised due to Pyrexia of Unknown Origin. This was a medical term often applied to ’Trench Fever’, a disease transmitted by body lice which caused headaches, a high temperature and dizziness. Sidney made a full recovery each time he contracted the condition and was quick to return to service at the front. He continued to serve with the AFA until March 1920. After being discharged, he returned to Australia and found employment in a shipping office. For his wartime service he was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory Medal.